Canadiens avoid another Kotkaniemi ordeal; sign Nick Suzuki to 8-year, $63M deal
The Montreal Canadiens announced an eight-year extension with forward Nick Suzuki on Tuesday worth $63 million.
The deal will pay him an average annual salary of $7.875 million.
In my first interview when I got traded, I said I wanted to prove Marc right for wanting me as part of the deal,” Suzuki said today. “And I think I’ve just tried to do that as long as I’ve been here.”
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Canadiens extend Nick Suzuki
The former first-round pick tallied 41 points (15 goals, 26 assists) for the Habs last season. He has 82 points (28 goals, 54 assists) in his first two pro seasons in Montreal after the Vegas Golden Knights selected him No. 13 overall in the 2017 draft.
“We are very happy to secure Nick’s services for the next eight seasons,” Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said in a statement.
Suzuki, 22, was acquired by the Canadiens along with Tomas Tatar and a 2019 second-round pick in return for Max Pacioretty in September 2018.
“I love the city of Montreal. I love being a Canadien, and to do that for hopefully the next nine years is something I’m really looking forward to. It’s huge for me and my family and we’re really happy that it all worked out.”
Habs won’t be burned again
There’s not doubt that the Montreal Canadiens learned a painful lesson this offseason when the Carolina Hurricanes successfully signed Jesperi Kotkaniemi to an offer sheet.
After a week of being trolled by the Hurricanes social media team, the Habs opted to not match the one-year deal and accept the compensation. Instead, the used some of those pieces to trade for Christian Dvorak from the Arizona Coyotes.
“Would we have loved to have kept [Kotkaniemi]? Of course,” GM Marc Bergevin explained. “But not at $6.1 million and not with Christian Dvorak available to us.”
Kotkaniemi, 21, had five goals and 15 assists in 56 games last season. In three NHL seasons, all with Montreal, the No. 3 overall pick in 2018 has scored 22 goals and added 40 assists in 171 games.
A painful loss that will not happen with Suzuki.
–Field Level Media contributed to this report