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NHL News: Offer sheet wars; Frans the Olympian

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The Hurricanes have fired back at the Canadiens with an offer sheet of their own.

Finland v Denmark - IIHF World Championship 2018
Send that man to the Olympics.
Photo by Marco Leipold/City-Press via Getty Images

There’s still not a lot of substance going on as the NHL collects its breath before the ramp-up to the new season, but...there is a bit of drama! Offer sheet drama.

Remember in 2019 when the Canadiens pissed off the Hurricanes by issuing a big offer sheet to Sebastian Aho, then the Canes made them wait the full week before matching?

The Carolina Hurricanes have fired back by sending an offer sheet to Jesperi Kotkaniemi for one year, $6.1 million, with a ... $20 signing bonus. (20 is Sebastian Aho’s number.)

In case there was any doubt at the subtext, Don Waddell’s quote exactly mirrors Marc Bergevin’s quote upon offer sheeting Aho:

It’s a rich tale for the slow part of summer — and of course just underlines that RFAs usually don’t have much leverage to actually switch teams, but every once in a blue moon they can extract a bigger raise out of the process. That said, some predicted Kotkaniemi was determined to force the issue after his playoff scratch. [TSN]

Some reactions from our network sites here: Canes Country | Habs Eyes on the Prize

Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman discuss the offer sheet drama and a bit of Jack Eichel on their podcast. [Sportsnet]

More collections of reactions here. [Sportsnet]

Islanders-Related Talk

  • Corey Pronman’s annual “prospect pipeline” rankings have the Islanders at 27th. [Athletic]
  • Frans Nielsen, recently bought out by the Red Wings in what might be the end of his NHL career, has helped Denmark make the Olympics with a 2-0 win over Norway, so he’s going to be on the Olympic team this winter. [NHL]
  • Stan Fischler recounts the early ‘80s Isles-Oilers feud that was at its juiciest between Wayne Gretzky and Billy Smith. In 1981, the Oilers had an author trailing the team in the hopes of him capturing the moment of their ascent. (By the way, Fishler himself had a classic book in 1976 about the Islanders that was subtitled: “Hockey’s Next Dynasty.” He was right, if a little early.) [Isles]

Elsewhere

  • Ryan Reaves is a Gerard Gallant type of guy, and Gallant says having him and Barclay Goodrow and others who like to get physical will help everyone on the Rangers. [Post]
  • Jack Eichel has reportedly switched agents. [TSN]
  • Henrik Lundqvist was “days” away from returning to the Capitals after open heart surgery last year, but he got a heart infection and that was that. [NHL]
  • A Maple Leafs-Sabres “Heritage Classic” game appears to be in the works for Hamilton, which is Canada’s Kansas City in terms of NHL expansion cities that will only be used as “but maybe” leverage for other teams. [Sportsnet]