There is a way for the Habs to keep Jesperi Kotkaniemi

Published August 29, 2021 at 1:34 PM

The Habs have to resign themselves to Jesperi Kotkaniemi for next season with a mandatory $6.1M salary. However, given that the Habs could afford to pay him next year and that his contract is only for one season, there may be a way to keep him for the long term.

Of course, the 21-year-old hasn't done enough in his career to deserve that high salary this year, but the situation means the Habs will absolutely have to give it to him by matching the offer. How can the Habs roll up their sleeves for the rest of the season?

Marc Bergevin could sit down with the Kotkaniemi clan right away and negotiate a long-term contract with him after the upcoming season. To make sure he doesn't have to pay as much again in 2022-23, he could be offered a 3-4 year contract averaging $4M per campaign during that time and at the end of that deal he would become a free agent without compensation. With a one-year contract, it is possible to offer an extension for the next contract. If the Tricolore really wants to keep him, this would be the best solution.

In this case, Kotkaniemi still has a lot of negotiating power, but at least he would have proof that the Habs care about him and want him to develop in Montreal. In the event that the Finnish player starts to struggle with this long-term offer, we'll stop the talks and let him go.

This is simply a solution to keep him, but if it starts to go in circles, Bergevin will simply have proof that Kotkaniemi doesn't want to stay with the Habs any more than that. We'll take first and third round picks, but let the Hurricanes work out the overbid.

Credit: SportsAddik
August 29   |   432 answers
There is a way for the Habs to keep Jesperi Kotkaniemi

Should the Habs keep him or find someone better?

Keep him9221.3 %
Let him go34078.7 %
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