The Jesperi Kotkaniemi era in Montreal has come to a close.
A week after the Carolina Hurricanes signed him to a one-year offer sheet worth $6,100,035 with a $20 signing bonus, the Canadiens declined to match the sheet and let him walk. As a result, the Hurricanes have officially signed the Finnish forward, sending their first-round pick and third-round pick in 2022 back to the Habs.
Kotkaniemi hasn't lived up to the expectations of being the No. 3 pick back in 2018. In three seasons with the Canadiens, Kotkaniemi has a career-high 34 points set as a rookie and 62 points total in 171 games.
That's not the output you'd expect from someone getting a contract of this size. But it's clear it's payback for Canadiens mingling with Aho's deal when they signed him to a five-year, $42.27-million offer sheet in 2019.