The Jesperi Kotkaniemi saga may seem like it is finally over, but nothing could be further from the truth.
It has now been officially announced that the Montreal Canadiens will not match the offer sheet that was put forward by the Carolina Hurricanes, a one year deal that will see Kotkaniemi earning a whopping $6.1 million, and furthermore the Canadiens have in theory already replaced the player by acquiring veteran centerman Christian Dvorak from the Arizona Coyotes in a trade.
The deals are done but the reality is that the talk surrounding both Dvorak and Kotkaniemi has only just begun and no doubt fans in both Carolina and Montreal will be paying very close attention to how both players perform in order to judge who will eventually walk away from this move as the winner. No doubt there will be plenty of trash talk on both sides of the aisle when it comes to this topic, and on Monday Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin may have even joined the fray when he had some strong words to share on the topic of his former player.
Bergevin indicated quite clearly that the offer sheet tendered by the Hurricanes simply did not make sense, stating clearly that paying Kotkaniemi that kind of money was not in the best interest of his team.
"The amount of money on a one year deal for a player that should be making a lot less, could affect our future," admitted Bergevin when he was asked if the amount offered by the Hurricanes had made this a clear cut decision for the Canadiens.
Bergevin went even further however when he suggested that no one in the sport of hockey would have rated Kotkaniemi this highly at this stage of his career.
"I think in the hockey world there's no one that will tell you that this is an offer, on a one year deal for a young player at this stage of his career, that he deserves. My first reaction was 'wow'."
Now to be clear this did not come off as Bergevin being petty or taking a shot at his former player, but instead was a statement that was delivered in a very matter-of-fact fashion on the part of the Habs general manager. It seems he believes that the Hurricanes have grossly overpaid, and it would seem he is also of the belief that this is an opinion widely shared across the National Hockey League.