NHL Rumors: Habs explain decision on Kotkaniemi; Senators and Tkachuk make progress on new deal

Latest on Sens' Brady Tkachuk.

brady tkachuk deal
May 8, 2021; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Ottawa Senators left wing Brady Tkachuk (7) warms up before the game against the Winnipeg Jets at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens held a press conference yesterday to discuss their decision. They opted to not match the offer sheet for Jesperi Kotkaniemi for two key reasons.

“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.”

NHL Rumors: Habs decided not to match offer sheet

Multiple reports indicated the idea to go after Coyotes’ Christian Dvorak was discussed soon after the offer sheet was signed.

kotkaniemi offer sheet
Oct 3, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; Montreal Canadiens center Jesperi Kotkaniemi (15) skates with the puck against Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho (20) during the first period at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Dvorak is a 25 year-old center and has a current cap hit of $4.45 million for the next 4 seasons. He scored 31 points in 56 games for the Yotes during the 2020-21 campaign and was a better option than Kotkaniemi.

“The amount of money on a one-year deal for a player who should be making a lot less, it could affect our future,” Bergevin said. “We have our structure, our salary cap that we have to work with and we have some young players coming through that we want to keep. So it put us in a situation where we had to make a decision on what was best for our team — now, and moving forward.”

Sportsnet

Elliotte Friedman also noted on his last podcast that the Canadiens prior to trading for Dvorak spoke with the Sharks about Tomas Hertl. Montreal also reached out to the Capitals about Evgeny Kuznetsov and the Flames about Sean Monahan.

All three players are listed in our NHL Trade Bait Tracker.

NHL Rumors: Brady Tkachuk and Senators make progress

The latest report from the Ottawa Sun by Bruce Garrioch indicates that there’s progress on a new deal.

“Talks between the Senators and Tkachuk’s camp took place as late as Friday after Batherson signed his deal,” Garrioch continued, “and likely will resume this week.”

Brady Tkachuk
Tkachuk and Senators (Graham Hughes)

Brady Tkachuk is just 21 years of age. In his three seasons with the team, he’s scored 125 points in 198 games. The Sens see him as the face of the franchise along with Thomas Chabot. Either one of them could be named the next captain in Ottawa.

While Garrioch reports on progress, TSN’s Shawn Simpson states that Brady will not be making his way to Ottawa until a deal is done.