It was a day so nice, that we recorded twice. When the news broke that Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s offer sheet with the Carolina Hurricanes would not be matched by the Montreal Canadiens and general manager Marc Bergevin, Jared Book and Patrik Bexell recorded their initial reaction.
They both agreed that there would likely be another move coming, and sure enough, less than an hour later, the Canadiens officially acquired Christian Dvorak from the Arizona Coyotes.
Jared recorded his thoughts on Dvorak and the saga wrapping up in a solo episode as well. Both episodes can be found below, and on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.
The main thing to separate in evaluating these moves is to separate the expectations for Jesperi Kotkaniemi from the reality. Kotkaniemi is only 21 years old, and still has plenty of time to improve. In three NHL seasons, he has not done that. He has shown glimpses of what made him the third overall pick, but it hasn’t all come together.
Part of that could be due to how he was developed, part of that could be due to the fact that he may not have been the right pick. But, again, that’s part of the perception and not the reality.
The expectation is that Kotkaniemi will improve, and that’s something that the Hurricanes are banking on. But the gamble had a price tag associated with it.
As for Dvorak, he won’t be Phillip Danault, but he does have aspects that will improve certain aspects of the team. He can produce on the power play, and there’s value to that. A goal on the power play counts the same towards a win as one at even strength, after all.