Marc Bergevin's offer sheet coming back to haunt Canadiens.
Paul Chiasson/CP)  

Marc Bergevin's offer sheet coming back to haunt Canadiens.

The Montreal Canadiens may still be paying the price for an offer sheet made by their former GM.

Jonathan Larivee

For years now we have heard that the real reason National Hockey League general managers tend to stay away from using hostile offer sheets is a fear of reprisal from the team being targeted by such an offer sheet. There may have been no more clear cut example in recent NHL history than the situation that unfolded between the Montreal Canadiens and Carolina Hurricanes following an offer sheet from the Canadiens to Hurricanes forward Sebastien Aho, a situation that the Canadiens may still be paying for all these years later.

At the time the offer sheet was made by now former Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, and although Bergevin's era in Montreal has long since come and gone, the bad blood between the Hurricanes and the Canadiens has not.

Recently the Canadiens have been one of the teams linked to talented Carolina Hurricanes winger Martin Necas, with it being fairly clear that Necas and the Hurricanes do not have a path forward together. Although this seemingly would provide the Canadiens with an opportunity to trade for a talented young forward, one NHL insider is reporting that they have no chance of securing Necas' services due to the history between the two franchises. 

In a recent article for the Toronto Sun, NHL insider Nick Kypreos revealed that the offer sheet to Aho in 2019, and the subsequent reprisal from the Hurricanes in 2021 with an offer sheet to Jesperi Kotkaniemi, has made it impossible for these two franchises to do business.

From Kypreos:

Many clubs are calling the Carolina Hurricanes to inquire about trading for forward Martin Necas, including the Montreal Canadiens. As much as the Habs love the player, there seems to be zero chance of a trade with Montreal considering the bad blood over the Jesperi Kotkaniemi offer sheet in 2021.

The offer sheet for Kotkaniemi would of course prove to be successful with the Hurricanes snatching the player away from the Canadiens, There is plenty of debate however with how that has worked out for the Hurricanes in the long run, with talk this season that Kotkaniemi could be bought out in just the 3rd year of the 8 year deal he signed with the Hurricanes following the offer sheet.

Regardless of how it worked out for either side at the time though it seems to be clearly costing the Canadiens now with them completely shut out of an opportunity at a very good player, all because of the actions of a former general manager. One has to wonder how many more of these situations may arise in the coming years between the Hurricanes and Canadiens.