The odds of Jesperi Kotkaniemi leaving increased today

Published September 1, 2021 at 3:44 PM

According to Pierre Houde, who was on Stéphane Gonzalez's show on 91.9 Sports, the chances that Jesperi Kotkaniemi will leave the Montreal Canadiens are at 80%... while he was putting them at 60% just yesterday. This indicates that the situation has evolved in less than 24 hours and that some of the discussions that the voice of the Habs on RDS has had with some of their counterparts are not very positive on the subject.

While chatting with key people at the heart of the matter, the words "salary cap" came up repeatedly, according to the dialogue borrowed by Mr. Houde. There is a lot of talk about the hockey level, but at some point you have to talk about money and look to the future. In light of the conversations between Pierre Houde and other well-connected people at Jonathan Drouin's golf tournament, the cap kept coming up.

The question is as simple as this: how can the Montreal Canadiens restructure their salary structure with a contract that makes no sense on the current playing field?

Moreover, we must not forget one important thing: Nick Suzuki will have to sign a new contract next year. Marc Bergevin has to make him an offer at midnight 01 on January 1st, and then the CH must sign him for eight years. The Habs must follow the current market (see the Sean Couturier's and Andrei Svechnikov's of this world).

Add to that the fact that if "KK" were to stay, he too would have to re-sign, which would handicap the Montreal Canadiens' payroll considerably. Especially since Jake Evans, Artturi Lehkonen and Alexander Romanov will also be restricted free agents with a salary cap that won't increase in 2022. Considering all these factors, we might have to forget about "KK" for the future, shall we?

To conclude, Houde, like Martin Lemay, believes that it would be better to have Jonathan Drouin at center with good wingers than Drouin at wing without a good center. When Drouin played center for the Montreal Canadiens when he arrived, they did not have the current talent on the wings. Is this the cheapest solution for the Habs? We're talking here...
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