NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 7, 2021

by | Sep 7, 2021 | News, NHL | 14 comments

Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin talks about Kotkaniemi offer sheet and the Dvorak trade, plus the latest on Brady Tkachuk and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin held a press conference on Monday after declining to match the offer sheet Jesperi Kotkaniemi signed with the Carolina Hurricanes and his acquisition soon afterward of Christian Dvorak.

Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin (NHL Images).

Bergevin said he was hoping to sign Kotkaniemi to a two-year bridge deal but the Hurricanes offer sheet was too much to match. He didn’t want to wreck his salary structure when he’ll have Nick Suzuki, Alexander Romanov and Cole Caufield to sign in the near future.

The Canadiens GM admitted he may have rushed Kotkaniemi into the Canadiens lineup before the young center was fully NHL-ready. Nevertheless, he rejected the notion that Kotkaniemi was a flop, pointing out the Hurricanes obviously saw value in him to sign him to an offer sheet.

Bergevin indicated the availability of Christian Dvorak made it easier to let Kotkaniemi walk. He acquired the 25-year-old center from the Arizona Coyotes using the first-round pick he received from the Hurricanes as compensation for the Kotkaniemi signing as a trade chip.

Asked about his future with the Canadiens, Bergevin said he had nothing new to report. He’s entering the final season of his current deal. He also said he wouldn’t name an interim captain this season to replace sidelined Shea Weber.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Few 18-year-old players are NHL-ready only months after being drafted. It usually takes about two years before their minds, bodies and skills have sufficiently matured to make them effective at the big-league level. To the Canadiens credit, they didn’t the same mistake with Suzuki, Caufield and Romanov.

There’s speculation Bergevin has a three-year contract extension on his desk. If that’s true, his decision not to re-sign suggests he might be growing weary of the job after nine seasons. 

TSN: Speaking of Christian Dvorak, he’s looking forward to playing in a hockey-mad city with a team that wants to win now. The 25-year-old center admitted hearing trade rumblings linking him to the Canadiens and felt a trade to Montreal was more of a possibility after hearing of Kotkaniemi’s offer sheet. Dvorak recently closed on a new home in Arizona but shrugged it off as just part of the business of hockey.

OTTAWA SUN: Contract negotiations are expected to resume this week between the Ottawa Senators and restricted free agent winger Brady Tkachuk. GM Pierre Dorion remains hopeful of getting the 21-year-old Tkachuk under contract before training camp opens later this month.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Shawn Simpson reports Tkachuk won’t be traveling to Ottawa until a new deal is in place. Over the weekend, Sportnet’s Elliotte Friedman speculated the winger could get a deal comparable to teammate Thomas Chabot’s eight-year, $64 million contract.

OILERS NATION: Former Edmonton Oilers left wing Dominik Kahun has signed a three-year contract with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League. The deal contains an out-clause each summer allowing him to return to the NHL.

YARDBARKER: Former Winnipeg Jets winger Marko Dano signed a two-month contract with HC Ocelari Trinec of the Czech Extraliga with a team option to extend the agreement for the full season.


  1. Too much was made of the revenge factor in KK OS. Can’t imagine other teams weren’t interested in KK as well. It’s not really revenge but by Bergevin going after Aho, he did make it ok for Canes to go after KK. There still seems to be an unspoken agreement on offer sheets.

    • I disagree. Dundon is known as a spiteful guy. He’s an owner who thinks he knows more than his “hockey people”, so he overrules them. This isn’t a Don Waddell move.

      6.1M for KK is more than a million per goal. If they can make it work long-term with KK, good for them and the kid.

      As for me, I’m delighted the Habs got a true #2C who is 52% in the dot and who scored at a 25-goal pace last year.

      The Habs essentially got Dvorak + 3rd for KK + 2nd. Given Dvorak’s 4.45M x 4 years, this is a SLAM DUNK by Bergevin.

      • Kk a second and drop down in the first round.

        I’m sure revenge had nothing to do with it. Pure hockey move. The contract and signing bonus numbers were a nice cheap way to cater to the fans. They put people on notice that offer sheeting their players was not cool. But those were happy coincidences. If it was any of the other 30 teams with a young rfa that had completely bombed their cap situation then Carolina would have offer sheeted them.

        Bergivan did a decent job of cleaning the mess up. That’s more on the ineptitude of Arizona though

    • Call it revenge, call it defending your team against future attacks, call it “it made it OK to go after MTL”, whatever.

      The question is – would CAR have tendered the offer sheet it MTL had not done the same to Aho.
      I would argue no, they would not have.

      If it was simply trying to improve their team, why KK vs Petterson, Quinn Hughes, Tkachuk, Dahlin, Patrick, Kaprisov, etc.

      I guess just a coincidence that KK made the most sense?

      Not sure that is the case. Want a high end C? Pettersson has been better. They lost their top offensive D-man. Hughes or Dahlin fills that need. High draft pick not living up to expectations as a C? Nolan Patrick.

      Teams that would have trouble matching? Any of them longer term as VCR has 2 high end guys, Minny has a crunch next year, LV with Patrick. MTL had plenty of space this year. BUF & OTT have no cap issues, but the targets have been better so far.

      The obvious explanation is the obvious one because it makes the most sense.


      • None of those are valid examples cause they all would have needed 6.2 and up. Cept Patrick and he isn’t valid cause he’s been out essentially his whole professional career.

      • I know that it would have required a higher amount of the offer sheet Chrisms.
        Disagree that it means it isn’t valid.
        CAR could have offered more for those players easily, as it is being reported that Gardiner is going on LTIR.

        So riddle me this – Why KK if it wasn’t because of Aho?

      • Ray Bark

        If they just wanted a winger they could have looked at an available UFA like Tatar who you can pencil in for 20 G at $4 million/yr.

        25 y/o Alex Nedeljkovic at $3 million in goal instead of Frederik Andersen at $4.5 million with Antti Raanta as back up ?

        Seems like they would be spending $3.1 million less and be a better team.

        Necas is a young centre being sheltered on the wing who is pretty much guaranteed a big contract. Either through an offer sheet (apparently owners and GMs aren’t happy with Dundon) or taking advantage of a new Carolina salary structure.

        Its a player they don’t need this year or even next year so IMO this was ego and emotionally driven move that has a better chance of being deleterious than helpful to Carolina.

        I’m happy Bergevin kept his ego in his pocket and signed Devo.

      • Because they liked the player ray? It’s why they attempted the trade first. It’s why they warned bergivan first. Money wise they could have offered up more. But also would have had to offer up more draft capital. Hence the lack of validity.

        Habsfan. I think the only ego involved is the habs fans egos that they got played.

      • The only point I am making is that this was because of the Aho offer sheet.
        Yes Dundon said it was not. He also said he didn’t believe the offer sheet was a viable strategy to improve his team, and that he thought you wouldn’t see any for a long, long time. Kind of a contradiction.
        Take everything he said with a grain of salt IMO.
        There were plenty of other RFA’s to offer sheet, or UFA’s to pick up if they were simply using their cap space to improve. Or trades to make.

        So if you guys think this had nothing to do with Aho, then I guess we disagree. Just as an FYI Bergevin spoke to CAR about a trade before the offer sheeted him. Tit for tat one might say.

        So he just offer sheeted KK because he thought that was the best way to improve his team? Sorry we disagree, there were plenty of other ways to do that.

        They are rare for a reason.

      • What was Carolina offering in the trade? It could have been a serious offer or maybe not… “Take a bag of pucks or we’ll offer sheet him…”

  2. Why would KK be consider a flop? because Montreal didn’t match?

    He is not a flop yet and he not worth $6.1 yet; this season will go along ways to move the needle to either side.

    MB came out of this looking good imo, ended up with a player that presently is better then the player he loss.

    • Casper he’s considered, not completely a flop because he was drafted 3rd over all as well as many better players were on the board when the Habs selected him….then they rushed and possibly ruined him by playing him when he clearly wasn’t ready for it….you know, like the Leafs did with Luke Schenn as an 18yr old.

      The bottom line is 18 is too young unless your name is McD or someone like him no matter how high you are on him. So if you play them when you shouldn’t, it does usually mess up their development and that’s on management and no one else.

  3. Kind of funny that Dundon is considered a spiteful guy. I’m not sure where this comes from but I am sure that there must be some “source” on the internet that proves that point……right?

    • Ahh the Internet, where all logic and common sense die