Thursday, February 22, 2024

Jesperi Kotkaniemi: A ‘disproportionate’ contract, according to Mark Bergiveen

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Virginia Whitehead
Virginia Whitehead
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The amount promised by Gisbury Kotaniemi by Carolina Hurricane would have had a “disproportionate” impact on the Montreal Canadiens’ salaries, according to general manager Mark Bergevin, who questioned the young Finn’s ability to manage the pressure in the future.

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It all started with Hurricane Alert that, on August 28, made a hostile one-year bid and $6.1 million for the free agent with compensation. From that moment on, Bergvin had seven days to respond.

And while Habs fans waited all day for the club’s response, GM struck a behind-the-scenes deal to acquire Christian Dvorak from the Arizona Coyotes.

Thus, a few minutes after 5 p.m. on Saturday, the Canadian announced that he had waived his right to match Hurricane Bidding, receiving first and third-round picks as compensation. A few minutes later, this first choice appeared in the transaction to obtain Dvorak.

“That’s not the only point, but the amount affected our structure, with the salary cap, with the youngsters who are growing and who we want to keep. It was the right decision for the team, now and in the future,” said Bergevin, who was not surprised by the hostile offer from Kans.

“No one in hockey will tell you that a young man at this point in his career deserves that salary. Would we have liked to keep her? Yes, we would have liked but not with that salary.”

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Bergevin also responded to the words of ‘KK’, who had argued the day before that the team had not managed its development well. Looking back, he probably would have preferred to give him an extra season in Finland before he jumped.

“We give the same tools to all players to reach their full potential. Some do it, some don’t. Sometimes players don’t analyze their game the right way, and that causes them to have all kinds of different perspectives.”

Bergevin has also reiterated on numerous occasions that he is very proud and happy to have acquired Dvorak.

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