Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki indirectly pushed KK out of Montreal...

Published September 8, 2021 at 5:17 PM

A journalist in Finland, Anders Nordenswan, severely criticized the Montreal Canadiens regarding the saga surrounding Jesperi Kotkaniemi in his most recent article. He went straight to the point, as they say.

According to him, the Montreal Canadiens' staff was totally unaware of Kotkaniemi. Yes, they did the right thing by not matching the Canes' one-year, $6.1 million offer because he wasn't worth that much financially. However, the Montreal organization needs to look in the mirror.

Nordenswan bitterly believes that the Habs lacked judgment by not playing Kotkaniemi in the last two games of the finals. By making this kind of decision, it directly affects the morale of a young player. Montreal should have made KK feel like he was part of the team's long-term plans. However, that was not the case.

When thinking about the Habs in the future, which players immediately come to mind? Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield, of course. Therein lies the mistake, according to Nordenswan. The CH should have built around these three players, rather than just putting Suzuki and Caufield in the spotlight. By doing that, indirectly, they put KK aside, according to Nordenswan.

The writer reminds us that KK is just a 21-year-old who has been thrown around, rather than well supported since his arrival in Montreal in 2018. He came from Finland and had never played North American hockey. The Habs lacked patience in his case. When he made mistakes, he was criticized or even punished. Was this the case for Suzuki or Caufield? No, because their offensive contribution was too important to the team to leave them out. The Canadiens were in a situation where they absolutely needed Suzuki and Caufield to win, unlike KK. In short, Montreal was always more patient and loving towards Suzuki and Caufield than towards KK.

Nordenswan called it this way: "The Habs threw away Kotkaniemi's future. He continued, "The Montreal Canadiens had a golden opportunity to build a great future around three fiercely talented young hockey players - the dream scenario for any team in today's NHL. They chose to focus on two of them and completely forget about the third. It was this attitude that drove Kotkaniemi away from Montreal. Not $6.1 million or Carolina's revenge on Montreal. That same attitude will also ruin Montreal's chances of becoming a long-term powerhouse in the NHL." For these reasons, Kotkaniemi inevitably wanted to leave the Montreal organization, due to favoritism.

Nordenswan ended his text with a huge dig at those directly responsible for Jesperi Kotkaniemi's development. "Stupid Marc Bergevin, Claude Julien and Dominique Ducharme. Stupid and blind."

Do you agree with the Finnish journalist's statements?
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