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The fate of Jesperi Kotkaniemi to be announced


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Carl Vaillancourt
May 22, 2024  (7:50 PM)
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Jesperi Kotkaniemi
Photo credit: Picture

With a disastrous season and playoffs, former Montreal Canadiens forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi could be nearing his final days with the Carolina Hurricanes organization.

According to reputable journalist Elliotte Friedman, the Carolina Hurricanes are on the verge of announcing the buyout of Jesperi Kotkaniemi's contract.
This news is quite shocking considering the Hurricanes had signed Kotkaniemi, the former third overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, to a multi-year contract. He was supposed to earn an average annual salary of $4.82 million per season until 2030.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi's Contract to be Bought Out by the Hurricanes, Says Elliotte Friedman
Friedman mentioned this in his "32 Thoughts" podcast:
"EF [Elliotte Friedman] thinks Carolina will buy out Kotkaniemi."

If Friedman's information proves correct, Jesperi Kotkaniemi will become an unrestricted free agent and can sign any contract he desires. The question now is where the Finnish player might end up next.
Many consider the selection of Jesperi Kotkaniemi by Marc Bergevin and Trevor Timmins to have been a monumental mistake, given the latest information revealed by Friedman.
Fans will remember the brief stint of Jesse Puljujarvi with Carolina. It was short-lived, and he chose to return to Europe. Kotkaniemi, who hasn't fully acclimated to North American hockey, might make a similar decision and return to his native Finland.
Considering Kotkaniemi had some good moments with the Hurricanes, which earned him his long-term contract, could the Canadiens be interested in signing him for a bargain one-year deal at a $1 million salary?
It's unlikely... It would be akin to returning to a toxic relationship with an ex. There's never a winner in the end, and it could create an even more toxic situation.
It will be interesting to closely follow this story in the coming weeks, given Elliotte Friedman's reputation. He rarely makes statements without confirmation from credible sources.
At 24 years old, Jesperi Kotkaniemi scored 1 point in 11 games during the 2024 playoffs. He was nearly invisible and one of the least utilized forwards in each game. It's safe to bet that Rod Brind'Amour is not too pleased with his on-ice performance.
What would be the impact of his buyout on the Carolina Hurricanes' salary cap?
The buyout of Kotkaniemi's contract would cost the Hurricanes around $835,000 per year until 2036. Don Waddell had presented an offer sheet to Kotkaniemi as revenge for the offer sheet the Canadiens made to acquire Sebastian Aho. One could say that the dramatic move orchestrated by Don Waddell is now backfiring on him. Karma does exist sometimes...
As our friend Maxim Lapierre would say, Don Waddell will be much less smug with his $20 bill.
POLL
MAY 22   |   505 ANSWERS
The fate of Jesperi Kotkaniemi to be announced

Do you sign Jesperi Kotkaniemi for a contrat of 1 year for 1 M$?

Yes14929.5 %
No30660.6 %
I don't know316.1 %
Not yet193.8 %
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