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Hurricanes Work Out Max 8-Year Deal with Jesperi Kotkaniemi

The Carolina Hurricanes and Jesperi Kotkaniemi have worked out details of a long-term deal that will be official after the trade deadline.

While the deal isn’t official and won’t be until after the NHL Trade Deadline on March 21, reports are surfacing that the Carolina Hurricanes and forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi have worked out the details of an eight-year extension worth around $4.5-$5 million per season. Andy Strickland was the first to report the deal appears to be done in principle but the numbers aren’t being reported with any real confidence yet.

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Chris Johnston of TSN writes: “Of note as Jesperi Kotkaniemi and the #Hurricanes close in on an extension: Hearing it will be an eight-year deal, which means it can’t be completed until the March 21 trade deadline.” Pierre LeBrun adds that it is believed the annual average will be just under $5 million per season. Cap Friendly offered a bit more detail on the rules of the signing needing to go down after the deadline and explained, “Our initial understanding was that KK was an RFA whose rights transferred from one reserve list to another (like a Trade) that the new MOU rule would apply. But we’ve been told it only applies to actual trades.”

Big Bet by Hurricanes

As some people are noting, this is a bet on Kotkaniemi’s potential. He’s been used sparingly throughout his NHL career and while he’s had mixed results since coming over from Montreal, this isn’t the worst deal, even if it isn’t a great one. On one hand, if Kotkaniemi stops developing now, he’s a somewhat expensive third-line center. He’s good defensively and he can move between the top nine and the top six without much issue. If he develops as hoped, this could become a deal with some solid value.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi Hurricanes NHL
Jesperi Kotkaniemi Hurricanes NHL

Kotakniemi signed an offer sheet deal and left the Montreal Canadiens this past offseason. His play has not warranted the $6.1-million qualifying offer he would have been due this summer as per his one-year offer sheet but this was never a signing that either side would have expected to lead to the numbers as outlined by the offer sheet. Frank Seravalli writes this “was simply a mechanism to acquire the player.”

The Hurricanes had always planned to keep Kotkaniemi around and the player is happy. He left a team that he wasn’t happy with, signed with a Stanley Cup contender and just got a max term deal.

Next: Senators’ GM Says NHL Trade Deadline Is Looking Quiet For Sellers

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