If the Habs match the Hurricanes' offer, Kotkaniemi will have to play the whole season in Montreal

Published August 30, 2021 at 7:26 PM

A lot of ink have been spilled since the announcement of the Carolina Hurricanes' hostile offer for Montreal Canadiens forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi. With five days to go before having to make a decision on whether to match the Hurricanes' offer (1 x $6.1M) or let KK go to Carolina in return for a 1st round pick and a 3rd round pick, GM Marc Bergevin has a lot to consider.

Here's another one

If the Habs decide to match the Hurricanes' offer, then Kotkaniemi will be a member of the Tricolore for (at least) one more season, but that season will have to be played, in its entirety, within the Montreal Canadiens organization.

Indeed, if the Habs decides to repatriate the young Finnish center, the latter, because of the rules of the collective agreement, cannot be traded for a period of one season and will have to stay in Montreal (or Laval at the limit). The "match and trade" option will therefore not be possible.

So if Jesperi Kotkaniemi and his $6.1M stay in Montreal this season, forget about any deal he would be part of, at least until next off-season. With untouchables like Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield, Kotkaniemi's name was often mentioned in trade rumors. So these potential trades will have to be placed on hold or will simply have to be changed.

This is another reason why Carolina's hostile offer is once again putting a spanner in the works for Marc Bergevin. If he had a trade in place in the near future in which KK was included, then he will not be able to complete that trade.

One possible option

If the Habs wants to trade Kotkaniemi, it will have to be done in the next five days or the 21-year-old forward will become a member of the Carolina Hurricanes. Bergevin can, however, trade Kotkaniemi's rights to another team that could then match the Hurricanes' offer before next Saturday. However, it will have to be done quickly if that is the plan.

Time is running out and a decision will have to be made soon.

To be continued...
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