Surprising and controversial announcement by the Hurricanes regarding Kotkaniemi

Published June 1, 2022 at 12:21

Following their elimination in the second round of the NHL playoffs against the New York Rangers, the Carolina Hurricanes are on vacation and it was time to take stock.

GM Don Waddell and head coach Rod Brind'Amour spoke about former Montreal Canadiens player Jesperi Kotkaniemi, and they made a surprising announcement, which is not unanimous.

As reported by Elliotte Friedman (Sportsnet), the Canes' management clearly stated that Kotkaniemi will be promoted next season and he will have more responsibilities, more opportunities and more quality playing time.

So it smells like the end for center Vincent Trocheck in Carolina.

The least we can say is that once again, they are offering a big vote of confidence to Kotkaniemi, while according to many, the Finn has not deserved it at all.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi, who was making $6.1 million this season, had a sub-par season and it didn't get any better in the playoffs. In the 2022 playoffs, KK had two points and no goals (in 14 games).

Remember also that during the season, Kotkaniemi lost almost 3 full minutes of ice time per game (including 40 seconds less on the power play, compared to his use in Montreal)

Here is the statistic that says it all

"Jesperi Kotkaniemi: 0 goals, 1 point in playoffs. He has one goal in his last 32 games (playoffs + regular season). #LetsGoCanes" - NHL Watcher

A pace of not even three goals/82 games.

Just when many were wondering if the Hurricanes were still proud of their move, and their hostile bid, here they are adding to it by practically announcing that (without having earned it) Kotkaniemi will already be promoted to a better trio for next year.

Will it last? To be continued, but for now that is their intention.

Let's face it, they have 38.5 million good reasons to find a way to get KK produced. (who signed an 8 year / 4.82 million per season contract in Carolina)

Do you still believe in the kid's potential? Do you think the Hurricanes will regret their 8 year contract?

If they really do replace Trocheck, with Kotkaniemi, it seems like a bad move for them, but there's also the salary cap to consider here.

June 1   |   48 answers
Surprising and controversial announcement by the Hurricanes regarding Kotkaniemi

Will the Canes regret their move to sign KK to a long term?

Yes!3572.9 %
No, KK will get better1327.1 %
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