The Montreal Canadiens have declined the opportunity to match the Carolina Hurricanes offer sheet for Jesperi Kotkaniemi. This means the Kotkaniemi will be a Hurricane following some paperwork and will get to make a move down to Carolina.
This deal is the first offer sheet to pass since 2007 when Dustin Penner was provided with an offer from the Edmonton Oilers that was not matched by the Anaheim Ducks. The Penner deal saw far more going to the Ducks than what the Canadiens will see, given that the Oilers had to give up a first, second, and third-round pick while the Hurricanes only lose a first and a third.
With the addition of Kotkaniemi, the Hurricanes will be able to cycle more depth into their system, and will likely see a fair few movements in the lines, with Kotkaniemi likely taking on a second or third line position, likely pushing winger, Jesper Fast to the fourth line. These are the kinds of moves that should lead the Hurricanes back to winning in the playoffs.
The player will have a lot to live up to after a fairly strong season in Montreal, and a lot of potential ahead of him. The Hurricanes will likely look to treat the player just as any other young gun, pairing him with veteran players and giving him the tools to help advance his career further.
While Kotkaniemi is currently only signed to a one-year contract, the Hurricanes may look to re-sign him depending on his performance in the league, otherwise, he will have the chance to move to yet another team freely come to the end of the season. It is for this reason that the player will largely look to protect his form and make himself at home in Carolina fast so that the team sees him as a key player.
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