CHICAGO – Carolina Center Sebastian Aho was amused by the Hurricanes‘ bid sheet trolling against the Montreal Canadiens.
In 2019, Aho signed an offer sheet with the Canadiens for restricted free agents for five years and $ 42 million that the Hurricanes quickly hit. Last month, Carolina turned the tables and signed Montreal Restricted Free Agent Jesperi Kotkaniemi on a $ 6.1 million year-long offer that the Canadiens would not match.
The signing bonus on Kotkaniemi’s contract offer was $ 20. Aho is number 20 in the Hurricanes. The hint was hard to miss.
“To be honest, it’s pretty fun to see a $ 20 signing,” Aho told ESPN on Thursday on the NHL Player Media Tour. “All jokes aside, we have a pretty good player.”
Aho and Kotkaniemi, who were both born in Finland, spoke on the phone during the bidding process. Aho said he spoke to the 21-year-old center about real estate options, restaurants and life in Raleigh.
â€œWe talked about general things. We tried to help him with a few small things, â€said Aho.
Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon said on Sportsnet Radio in Toronto this month it was “silly” to assume the bid sheet was being advertised out of revenge. But he defended Carolina, who poked fun at the move on social media, including pointing out the $ 20 signing bonus.
“We’re all in the entertainment business and we don’t have a league if people aren’t entertained by it. When it worked out that way, our organizational philosophy on the business side was to have as much fun, get as much attention as possible,” said Dundon.
Aho agreed, saying fans had raved about the offer sheet – and the newly forged rivalry between the teams.
“It got people talking. I think it will be a good thing. It will be fun to play against them next year,” said Aho. “It’s part of the business. Social media is so huge these days. You don’t have to play a game and you already have a buzz.”