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https://awinninghabit.com/2021/08/30/montreal-canadiens-argument-jesperi-kotkaniemi-offer-sheet/

Montreal Canadiens: The Argument Against Matching Jesperi Kotkaniemi Offer Sheet

 

Of course, there is plenty of risk that Kotkaniemi will break out down the road and that was still the hope among the Canadiens fan base as recently as Saturday morning. But there are enough reasons to believe this contract he signed will do more harm than good for him going forward in Montreal.

Many fans were already impatient with Kotkaniemi’s slow development. The heat would be turned up considerably now. Could the young centre even handle the pressure of returning to Montreal as their fourth highest paid player? I’m not sure, but $6.1 million is an awful lot to wager on that. What if he struggles and then you have to let him become an unrestricted free agent so you can afford to re-sign Suzuki in a year?

Then you have lost him for nothing. That would be the worst case scenario and needs to be avoided. Which is why the safest thing to do at this point is let the Hurricanes have him and take the first and third round picks for the draft that the Canadiens are hosting next June.

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I don't see the downside to keeping him... if you keep him and he doesn't perform as the 2C, then he's still 22 and someone will likely still take him in a trade and know they don't need to pay him as an RFA next year. If he does continue to progress, you kept your asset and you can re-negotiate. It's not like Carolina offered him 7 years at 7M a season and we need to decide today whether we're going to go full Scott Gomez on his contract. It's more than I'd like to pay, sure, but there's no commitment here. Much more downside to losing him and having him reach his potential like a Barkov or Zabinejad or Couturier or Huberdeau than there is to hanging on to him and losing a 1st rounder that you might well still get in a trade next year. Just a couple of weeks ago, most fans here were still talking about JK being good enough to be the focal point in a trade for Eichel. Most fans were not sold on trading JK for PLD. He has value and he has 9 goals in 29 playoff games, which is pretty darn good, so he's been showing up when it counts. I don't see the reason why some think he's a flop just because he isn't an established top 6 center yet.

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1 hour ago, BigTed3 said:

I don't see the downside to keeping him... if you keep him and he doesn't perform as the 2C, then he's still 22 and someone will likely still take him in a trade and know they don't need to pay him as an RFA next year. If he does continue to progress, you kept your asset and you can re-negotiate. It's not like Carolina offered him 7 years at 7M a season and we need to decide today whether we're going to go full Scott Gomez on his contract. It's more than I'd like to pay, sure, but there's no commitment here. Much more downside to losing him and having him reach his potential like a Barkov or Zabinejad or Couturier or Huberdeau than there is to hanging on to him and losing a 1st rounder that you might well still get in a trade next year. Just a couple of weeks ago, most fans here were still talking about JK being good enough to be the focal point in a trade for Eichel. Most fans were not sold on trading JK for PLD. He has value and he has 9 goals in 29 playoff games, which is pretty darn good, so he's been showing up when it counts. I don't see the reason why some think he's a flop just because he isn't an established top 6 center yet.

I think where it gets complicated is he seems to have embraced the idea of moving to a different team. So yes, we can match. And yes, we can attempt to avoid qualifying him at 6.1 next year by offering a longer contract for less. But at that point he can choose not to sign it. So correct me if I’m wrong, but if he declines the modified offer, we would have the choice of qualifying him at 6.1 or letting him go UFA, is that correct? In which case, he walks and we’re left with nothing for it. And honestly, once he gets a taste of 6.1, how much less do we really think he’s going to accept, from us, anyways? Once a UFA he might find himself more willing to compromise, but I have a feeling he’ll hold our feet to the fire. Heck, he would already have been signed except for the fact that he was holding out for more than he’s worth. As I understand it the offers were in the 1.5-2.5 range, which would be perfectly reasonable contracts. Bottom line, I think he wants to leave. And if that’s the case, he will leave. The only question is whether it’s this year in exchange for a 1st/3rd, or next year for nothing (unless I’m wrong, and he doesn’t want to leave, but it sure looks that way)

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1 hour ago, BigTed3 said:

Just a couple of weeks ago, most fans here were still talking about JK being good enough to be the focal point in a trade for Eichel. Most fans were not sold on trading JK for PLD.

And just to touch on this part separately, agreed that a lot of fans, myself included had him penciled in as the focal points in these trades. And honestly, he’s probably been tossed in just about every big trade offer MB has made over the last year or so. But it doesn’t look like Buffalo, or Columbus, or any other teams that we’ve been kicking the tires around have had any interest at all. 

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6 minutes ago, MALMACIAN_CRUNCH said:

I think where it gets complicated is he seems to have embraced the idea of moving to a different team. So yes, we can match. And yes, we can attempt to avoid qualifying him at 6.1 next year by offering a longer contract for less. But at that point he can choose not to sign it. So correct me if I’m wrong, but if he declines the modified offer, we would have the choice of qualifying him at 6.1 or letting him go UFA, is that correct? In which case, he walks and we’re left with nothing for it. And honestly, once he gets a taste of 6.1, how much less do we really think he’s going to accept, from us, anyways? Once a UFA he might find himself more willing to compromise, but I have a feeling he’ll hold our feet to the fire. Heck, he would already have been signed except for the fact that he was holding out for more than he’s worth. As I understand it the offers were in the 1.5-2.5 range, which would be perfectly reasonable contracts. Bottom line, I think he wants to leave. And if that’s the case, he will leave. The only question is whether it’s this year in exchange for a 1st/3rd, or next year for nothing (unless I’m wrong, and he doesn’t want to leave, but it sure looks that way)

This, I would have liked another year to see if he developed further, but at this point I don't think we have a choice but to let him go. Package the picks and go after something better.

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2 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

I don't see the downside to keeping him... if you keep him and he doesn't perform as the 2C, then he's still 22 and someone will likely still take him in a trade and know they don't need to pay him as an RFA next year. If he does continue to progress, you kept your asset and you can re-negotiate. It's not like Carolina offered him 7 years at 7M a season and we need to decide today whether we're going to go full Scott Gomez on his contract. It's more than I'd like to pay, sure, but there's no commitment here. Much more downside to losing him and having him reach his potential like a Barkov or Zabinejad or Couturier or Huberdeau than there is to hanging on to him and losing a 1st rounder that you might well still get in a trade next year. Just a couple of weeks ago, most fans here were still talking about JK being good enough to be the focal point in a trade for Eichel. Most fans were not sold on trading JK for PLD. He has value and he has 9 goals in 29 playoff games, which is pretty darn good, so he's been showing up when it counts. I don't see the reason why some think he's a flop just because he isn't an established top 6 center yet.

There's risks both ways to be sure.   Before saturday I didnt even contemplate him not in the lineup (unless we needed him as part of an Eichel deal or something) He's played a lot of games, yes, but he's still younger than Poehling, Norlinder, Romanov - he's only 6 months older than Caufield - its totally within the realm of reason to think that he has (a lot of) room to grow.

And while i agree that $6.1m isnt set for the next 10 years or something, he must be qualified at that price... so if we cant work out a deal between Jan 1 and July, he becomes an RFA again.  Im not saying he will and for all we know he might be willing to take a 6 year deal at $4.5m a year or something - but its still risky with nothing in writing.


I sure hope MB has more information than us- and most importantly, he swallows his pride & do what is best for the team, & not for his ego.  Im flip flopping on what that is right now but hopefully he makes the right decision. 


Ps.Tomas Tatar is still on our main page here:

<----------------------------------------------

 

 

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Per Eric Engels Habs are leaning towards not matching the offer and use the picks to find a replacement. . Christian Dvorak is their primary target. . 
 

how he knows this I don’t know . 

I say let him go .  Let Carolina pay him $6 million for next year and “hope” he becomes a top flight centreman.   Then 1st game back someone take a run at him .😉
 

 

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4 hours ago, MALMACIAN_CRUNCH said:

Lol meanwhile, Habs, with our size and grit, knocked off these Leafs in the first round, en route to the Stanley Cup Finals :P

Yeah. We never won the Cup, though. I mean, sure it's fun to win playoff series and I loved it, but we still never won the Cup... Which is the goal.

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52 minutes ago, jennifer_rocket said:

Yeah. We never won the Cup, though. I mean, sure it's fun to win playoff series and I loved it, but we still never won the Cup... Which is the goal.

Yeah neither did the Leafs, Jets or Vegas........just saying if we had just beat one team it could be a fluke, two we got lucky but three perhaps we were actually pretty good. Of course the Bolts with the lineup inflated by cap gymnastics were a better team and with the experience of the last couple of seasons under their belts were too strong for us or pretty much any other team. 

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4 hours ago, Regis22 said:

Per Eric Engels Habs are leaning towards not matching the offer and use the picks to find a replacement. . Christian Dvorak is their primary target. . 
 

how he knows this I don’t know . 

I say let him go .  Let Carolina pay him $6 million for next year and “hope” he becomes a top flight centreman.   Then 1st game back someone take a run at him .😉
 

Its certainly possible this is true but MB also likes to play mind games.  We know that Carolina tried to trade for JK before they gave him an offersheet.  Maybe MB countered asking for someone like Trocheck and/or Suzuki and they wouldnt bite.

So now MB floats the idea that we may not match & maybe the Hurricanes say "wait a minute, do we want to spend $6m on this kid?" and circle back to the deal they wouldnt do in the first place with MB. 

Definitely some mind games going on (from both sides) right now... 

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9 hours ago, maas_art said:

Yeah, 1sts are always tricky. I worry about giving them away too far into the future though... like 2 years from now what will this team even look like? 

Unfortunately, we make such great picks. Are we really losing? History says no.

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13 hours ago, habsisme said:

I don't know, I feel confident that Evans/Poehling/Pacquette can handle the 3rd line duties. I think Evans is more than ready and Poehling too (although I worry about injury with him). But we don't have a second line C but while the situation is better with KK we don't have a second line C in him either. 

I think Dvorak would be a very nice and smart pick up but I THINK I remember hearing somewhere that they were looking for 2 firsts. A bit pricey for me but close enough where I'd definitely be talking. He's locked up and at a good rate too

Evans has consistently silenced the pundits on here.  IF, he can stay away from concussions, he'll be able to do the job. Evans has improved every year, since being drafted. Poehling same thing, although in a smaller window. He's improved every year since his draft year. (except the one year & except when injured.) He has the size and has improved his skating.  It's time the Habs let these players play! Who knows, if the Habs Management will ever learn. They're running out of time. So, I am basically agreeing with you habsisme.

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God I hope there is no intention of matching this offer, what a joke this would be if they do.  Time to let him go and a bust for someone else!!  Take the picks, and move the picks for say Dvorak whi is cheap and IMO a much better C anyways.

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15 hours ago, MALMACIAN_CRUNCH said:

I think where it gets complicated is he seems to have embraced the idea of moving to a different team. So yes, we can match. And yes, we can attempt to avoid qualifying him at 6.1 next year by offering a longer contract for less. But at that point he can choose not to sign it. So correct me if I’m wrong, but if he declines the modified offer, we would have the choice of qualifying him at 6.1 or letting him go UFA, is that correct? In which case, he walks and we’re left with nothing for it. And honestly, once he gets a taste of 6.1, how much less do we really think he’s going to accept, from us, anyways? Once a UFA he might find himself more willing to compromise, but I have a feeling he’ll hold our feet to the fire. Heck, he would already have been signed except for the fact that he was holding out for more than he’s worth. As I understand it the offers were in the 1.5-2.5 range, which would be perfectly reasonable contracts. Bottom line, I think he wants to leave. And if that’s the case, he will leave. The only question is whether it’s this year in exchange for a 1st/3rd, or next year for nothing (unless I’m wrong, and he doesn’t want to leave, but it sure looks that way)

I don't see where any 21 year old signing an offer sheet for 6.1 Mil means that he WANTS to leave, this seems to be the exact same situation that Aho was in 2 years ago when he signed with Montreal. Negotiations were not going how he wanted his agent suggested that he sign an offer sheet, there are many rumors out there that he has a handshake deal in place with the Canes for an extension and blah, blah blah. The reality is he can not have an extension in place already, there are rules that prevent this type of sign and extend. I believe the Rule is 50.2 (f)(iv) of the rule book which prevents an offer sheeted player from signing with his new team until January 1st. One would have to think that there would be serious penalties for violating these types of rules so why would the Canes risk it? If we match the offer and we actually show confidence in him as our 2C without moving him down or out of the lineup for struggling then we can offer him a long term contract at a lower hit. If he rejects that we can still send him his QO of 6.1 mil and retain his rights. If he won't sign that then the club can elect arbitration and he won't qualify for another OS next season and we can request his salary be 85% of his current one. Montreal can literally force KK to play here until he turns 27 if they so choose by going to arbitration every year and reducing his salary by 85% a year. Most likely though even if he under performs (which I don't think he will even if he wants out he will be motivated to raise his value) we can trade him later for more than a late 1st and 3rd. At 22 most prospects are just finishing their ELC and none have hit their true ceiling yet, teams will take the chance on him even at 5.185 (85% of current salary) or 6.1 Mil. I say match and force him to raise his value either to trade later for a better package or earn his pay and extend him. This is a forest for the trees situation, hopefully MB sees that.

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18 minutes ago, campabee82 said:

I don't see where any 21 year old signing an offer sheet for 6.1 Mil means that he WANTS to leave, this seems to be the exact same situation that Aho was in 2 years ago when he signed with Montreal. Negotiations were not going how he wanted his agent suggested that he sign an offer sheet, there are many rumors out there that he has a handshake deal in place with the Canes for an extension and blah, blah blah. The reality is he can not have an extension in place already, there are rules that prevent this type of sign and extend. I believe the Rule is 50.2 (f)(iv) of the rule book which prevents an offer sheeted player from signing with his new team until January 1st. One would have to think that there would be serious penalties for violating these types of rules so why would the Canes risk it? If we match the offer and we actually show confidence in him as our 2C without moving him down or out of the lineup for struggling then we can offer him a long term contract at a lower hit. If he rejects that we can still send him his QO of 6.1 mil and retain his rights. If he won't sign that then the club can elect arbitration and he won't qualify for another OS next season and we can request his salary be 85% of his current one. Montreal can literally force KK to play here until he turns 27 if they so choose by going to arbitration every year and reducing his salary by 85% a year. Most likely though even if he under performs (which I don't think he will even if he wants out he will be motivated to raise his value) we can trade him later for more than a late 1st and 3rd. At 22 most prospects are just finishing their ELC and none have hit their true ceiling yet, teams will take the chance on him even at 5.185 (85% of current salary) or 6.1 Mil. I say match and force him to raise his value either to trade later for a better package or earn his pay and extend him. This is a forest for the trees situation, hopefully MB sees that.

I think the sentiment stems from Kotkaniemi being willing to sign a contract that includes a ridiculous signing bonus and funny cap numbers, so there is a bit of a difference between the Aho situation and Kotkaniemi's offer sheet. Nothing wrong with signing that huge contract in general, but I absolutely hate that he facilitated the surrounding drama and antics on twitter. I think it's unprofessional and could have certainly lived without it.

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11 minutes ago, ChiLla said:

I think the sentiment stems from Kotkaniemi being willing to sign a contract that includes a ridiculous signing bonus and funny cap numbers, so there is a bit of a difference between the Aho situation and Kotkaniemi's offer sheet. Nothing wrong with signing that huge contract in general, but I absolutely hate that he facilitated the surrounding drama and antics on twitter. I think it's unprofessional and could have certainly lived without it.

My question for you is this, did KK have any knowledge of the salary structure or did his agent just bring him an offer sheet and told KK that he feels like Montreal will match? The numbers were a troll from Carolina for sure but I don't think KK had anything to do with the structure of the contract or even cared about it. He was just being a typical young guy and signing a huge offer when negotiations with Montreal were not going well. I blame MB for allowing this to happen, he trolled Waddell for not locking up his RFA's before FA opened then he does the same thing, talk about being a hypocrite

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5 minutes ago, campabee82 said:

My question for you is this, did KK have any knowledge of the salary structure or did his agent just bring him an offer sheet and told KK that he feels like Montreal will match? The numbers were a troll from Carolina for sure but I don't think KK had anything to do with the structure of the contract or even cared about it. He was just being a typical young guy and signing a huge offer when negotiations with Montreal were not going well. I blame MB for allowing this to happen, he trolled Waddell for not locking up his RFA's before FA opened then he does the same thing, talk about being a hypocrite

I have absolutely no idea, but does it really matter? He signed the contract, either knowingly and he was fine with it or his agent was in on the whole thing and didn't tell him. No clue, but either way the optics are bad. I've never seen a real NHL contract in my life, but I'd guess that a signing bonus of $20 would raise question marks.

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29 minutes ago, ChiLla said:

I think the sentiment stems from Kotkaniemi being willing to sign a contract that includes a ridiculous signing bonus and funny cap numbers, so there is a bit of a difference between the Aho situation and Kotkaniemi's offer sheet. Nothing wrong with signing that huge contract in general, but I absolutely hate that he facilitated the surrounding drama and antics on twitter. I think it's unprofessional and could have certainly lived without it.

Yeah, it was foolish, but... Not trying to cut him slack... But he's 21. I think the blame for that nonsense falls more squarely on Carolina's ownership, Carolina's management, and KK's agent.

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47 minutes ago, campabee82 said:

I don't see where any 21 year old signing an offer sheet for 6.1 Mil means that he WANTS to leave, this seems to be the exact same situation that Aho was in 2 years ago when he signed with Montreal. Negotiations were not going how he wanted his agent suggested that he sign an offer sheet, there are many rumors out there that he has a handshake deal in place with the Canes for an extension and blah, blah blah. The reality is he can not have an extension in place already, there are rules that prevent this type of sign and extend. I believe the Rule is 50.2 (f)(iv) of the rule book which prevents an offer sheeted player from signing with his new team until January 1st. One would have to think that there would be serious penalties for violating these types of rules so why would the Canes risk it? If we match the offer and we actually show confidence in him as our 2C without moving him down or out of the lineup for struggling then we can offer him a long term contract at a lower hit. If he rejects that we can still send him his QO of 6.1 mil and retain his rights. If he won't sign that then the club can elect arbitration and he won't qualify for another OS next season and we can request his salary be 85% of his current one. Montreal can literally force KK to play here until he turns 27 if they so choose by going to arbitration every year and reducing his salary by 85% a year. Most likely though even if he under performs (which I don't think he will even if he wants out he will be motivated to raise his value) we can trade him later for more than a late 1st and 3rd. At 22 most prospects are just finishing their ELC and none have hit their true ceiling yet, teams will take the chance on him even at 5.185 (85% of current salary) or 6.1 Mil. I say match and force him to raise his value either to trade later for a better package or earn his pay and extend him. This is a forest for the trees situation, hopefully MB sees that.

It’s statements like how Kotkaneimi felt like he had played his last game as a Hab, his not being happy about being scratched at times during the playoffs, combined with his disinterest in signing a reasonable contract with us when he had the chance. 
I do also think you slightly over estimate his trade value. It’s fairly safe to assume he’s been a centrepiece of every trade offer we’ve made over the last year or so, and nobody seemed very interested. And that’s before slapping a $6 million (or even as you’ve stated, $5 million) price tag on him.

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2 minutes ago, MALMACIAN_CRUNCH said:

It’s statements like how Kotkaneimi felt like he had played his last game as a Hab, his not being happy about being scratched at times during the playoffs, combined with his disinterest in signing a reasonable contract with us when he had the chance. 
I do also think you slightly over estimate his trade value. It’s fairly safe to assume he’s been a centrepiece of every trade offer we’ve made over the last year or so, and nobody seemed very interested. And that’s before slapping a $6 million (or even as you’ve stated, $5 million) price tag on him.

Those are rumors, there is no real proof that he said any of that other than the media saying so. What player would be happy with being scratched in the playoffs especially the SCF? IMO a 1.5-2.5 Mil 3 year contract is NOT a fair offer for a young top 6 center. His value was closer to 3.25-3.5 mil on a 1-3 year deal, MB does this all the time, tries to short change the young guys then overpays the vets. I don't assume to know that he was the centerpiece of every trade offer we've made for the last year or so as MB himself has said repeatedly that KK and Zuke were the future and where most conversations ended. Maybe you can argue that KK has been the focal point of any conversations about Eichel but I don't think he has been in any other conversations.

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I'm torn between matching the offer sheet and letting him walk. But it's really dependent on what we can do with those picks. My fear is that we let Kotkaniemi walk and we just cannot replace him in our lineup. I mean, shifting Drouin back to center seems dubious at best. Hoping we can trade for an awesome NHL established center...? Well, we've not been able to do that for years and years and years.

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17 minutes ago, campabee82 said:

Those are rumors, there is no real proof that he said any of that other than the media saying so. What player would be happy with being scratched in the playoffs especially the SCF? IMO a 1.5-2.5 Mil 3 year contract is NOT a fair offer for a young top 6 center. His value was closer to 3.25-3.5 mil on a 1-3 year deal, MB does this all the time, tries to short change the young guys then overpays the vets. I don't assume to know that he was the centerpiece of every trade offer we've made for the last year or so as MB himself has said repeatedly that KK and Zuke were the future and where most conversations ended. Maybe you can argue that KK has been the focal point of any conversations about Eichel but I don't think he has been in any other conversations.

I think a fair offer to Kotkaniemi would've been two years AAV $2.5-3.5 million. Perhaps that's what Bergevin offered him and he wanted more. Rumors seem to indicate they were far apart on the contract. I know it's just rumors, but there must be something not right here for KK to sign the offer sheet with Carolina.

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