Jack Todd: Carolina offer sheet to Kotkaniemi was a bush league move

The Canes behaved like a bunch of 5th grade boys trying to see who can stand the farthest from the urinal – and mocking who gets splashed in the process.

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Let’s get rid of the obvious first: Carolina’s decision to hand Jesperi Kotkaniemi an offer for an absurd amount of money was a petty, childish bush league move from an organization that simply refuses to grow. .

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Bad enough that the Hurricanes chose to act out of revenge — but accompanying that stupidity with a bunch of sophomore tweets and a petulant $20 signing bonus was an embarrassment to the league and the organization.

Overall, the Canes behaved like a bunch of 5th grade boys trying to see who can stand the farthest from the urinal – and mocking who gets splashed in the process.

If Carolina really cared about their team, they would have raised the money to keep defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who signed with the Devils. Instead, he overpays Kotkaniemi by at least $3 million and lets Hamilton off the hook.

The loser wasn’t Marc Bergevin, who has already blown his summer to pieces with such an offensive and insensitive draft pick that he and the Canadiens deserve what’s coming to them. Bergevin signed Sebastian Aho from Carolina on an offer sheet because he wanted the player. Carolina signed Kotkaniemi out of revenge, which is not the same at all.

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The first- and third-round draft picks involved in the deal aren’t worth much. For Bergevin, a late first lap means Logan Mailloux and another disaster. But is he destroying his salary structure and creating a cap problem for a second-line or third-line center who’s still trying to get sea legs in the NHL?

The potential loser here is Kotkaniemi, who is expected to play next year for something in the range of $2.5-3 million and is instead being used as a pawn in a little revenge drama. I don’t believe Kotkaniemi is ready for $6.1 million in pressure in a situation where the extraordinary circumstances guarantee he will be scrutinized on every shift, whether in Carolina or Montreal.

If Kotkaniemi falls on his nose, either team forfeits the $6.1 million qualifying offer for next season and, his confidence soars, he signs somewhere for much less and tries to avoid becoming the next Alex Galchenyuk. Yes, he gets the money now. And he better hang on to it.

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In the meantime, if there is an adult in the room for either of these two hockey organizations, I would like to know who it is.

France Margaret Bélanger was appointed President Sports and Entertainment of Groupe CH on Tuesday August 24, 2021.
France Margaret Bélanger was appointed President Sports and Entertainment of Groupe CH on Tuesday August 24, 2021. Photo courtesy of the Montreal Canadiens

Enter on the left: Speaking of adults, when the news broke that the Canadiens had promoted France Margaret Bélanger to President, Sports and Entertainment, I wanted to applaud.

Finally, exactly what I was asking for after the Canadiens crashed in the draft: a smart, tough woman who can bring some calm, wisdom and perspective to a decision-making team so amped up in testosterone that ‘she can’t race anything this side of a monster truck rally.

Unfortunately, his title aside, Bergevin does not report directly to Bélanger — he still reports to Molson, who floundered in his various clumsy attempts to limit the damage in the wake of the Mailloux crisis.

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Yet Bélanger is now a central figure in the organization. We’ve never met, but I’m told this is the real deal, a brilliant, capable executive in the mold of Tampa Bay’s Julien BriseBois. Now the others in the room have to listen when Bélanger speaks. The image of the CH took a terrible blow this summer. She just might hold the key to the cure.

Silver medalist Kate O'Brien of Team Canada celebrates on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Women's C4-5 500m Time Trial in Track Cycling on Day 3 of the Tokyo Paralympic Games 2020 at Izu Velodrome on August 27, 2021 in Izu, Shizuoka, Japan.
Silver medalist Kate O’Brien of Team Canada celebrates on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Women’s C4-5 500m Time Trial in Track Cycling on Day 3 of the Tokyo Paralympic Games 2020 at Izu Velodrome on August 27, 2021 in Izu, Shizuoka, Japan. Photo by Kiyoshi Ota /Getty Images

A true hero, a remarkable story: In the summer of the Canadian Warriors and with Team Canada defeating the United States as they go for gold at the World Hockey Championships, there are so many good stories that many will fall through the cracks.

But Paralympic silver medalist Kate O’Brien is special. O’Brien was a cyclist who competed in the Rio Olympics. In 2017, a training accident in the velodrome left her with a severe brain injury, a punctured lung, cracked ribs and a broken collarbone. Then in 2019, she was diagnosed with epilepsy.

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Over the years of rehab, O’Brien told CBC Sports, “Just being able to get back on a bike and go to the grocery store to buy Sour Patch Kids is more than I could have asked for. “

But she made it all the way to Tokyo, got back on the bike and on the velodrome, and won a Paralympic silver medal.

Sport is supposed to inspire. O’Brien inspires. Partially blind judoka Priscilla Gagné inspires. These are the real athletes, the ones who do it for the love of the game, the stars your kids need to hear about.

Hero: France Margaret Bélanger, Jamie Lee Rattray, Mélodie Daoust, Marie-Philip Poulin, Renata Fast, Natalie Spooner, Ann-Renée Desbiens, Stéphanie Labbé, Priscilla Gagné, &&&& last but not least, Kate O’Brien.

Zeros: Tom Dundon, Don Waddell, Carolina Hurricanes, Markus Lehto, Marc Bergevin, Geoff Molson, Francisco Lindor, Claude Brochu, David Samson &&&& last but not least, Jeffrey Loria. Now and forever.

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  1. Jesperi Kotkaniemi went 5-15-20 totals in 56 regular season games last season.

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  2. Ryan Poehling of the Montreal Canadiens handles the puck behind the net during the first period against the Chicago Blackhawks in Montreal on January 15, 2020.

    Canadiens and center Ryan Poehling agree to two-year deal

  3. Montreal Canadiens winger Jonathan Drouin, left, and Laval Rocket center Laurent Dauphin speak before the start of Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme's charity golf tournament in Joliette on August 26, 2021.

    Ducharme strikes positive tone about revamped Canadiens and Drouin

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