The news of the Carolina Hurricanes signing an offer sheet with Montreal Canadiens centre Jesperi Kotkaniemi has taken over the NHL since the past few days. The Canes revealed that they have an agreement that would see the 21-year-old restricted free agent join Carolina on a one-year deal worth $6.1 million, which most folks doubt the Habs will match.
Canadiens insider Eric Engels for Sportsnet agrees with these fans and mentioned on Tuesday the most likely scenario in Montreal at the moment.
“Right now I think the most likely scenario is they’re going to let him walk, and replace him via trade.”
This is where we get the cue to talk about the possibility of the Canadien acquiring Jack Eichel from the Buffalo Sabres. Chatter got more intense when the Sabres’ captain hired agent Pat Brisson to make things happen. With Brisson coming in, the Canadiens have become a rumoured destination for Eichel. With the whole Kotkaniemi offer sheet saga, the Canadiens could become front-runners for Eichel: the Habs would get the Hurricanes’ first- and third-round picks in next year’s draft if they don’t match Kotkaniemi’s offer sheet, and could offer up two first-round picks and a prospect would bring Eichel to Montreal.
The Canadiens could also use those same picks in a Christian Dvorak trade out of Arizona, as Engels and coworker Elliotte Friedman reports.
"I do happen to believe they have identified a primary target here and it is Christian Dvorak out of Arizona," Engels added.
This all makes a lot of sense and it sure to get Habs’ fans quite excited.