Hours after the 2019 free-agency period opened, the rumours that had been swirling for several days became reality: Marc Bergevin had signed a player to an offer sheet, and it was Carolina Hurricanes star centreman Sebastian Aho.
The contract was a binding agreement for whichever team held it, and the Hurricanes needed to match the exact terms to keep their player. One aspect of the deal that placed some uncertainty on that outcome was that the five-year contract included the minimum NHL salary in each season with the rest in signing bonuses. Two sizable payments in the first two seasons may have convinced the Hurricanes’ ownership to walk away, taking three picks in the 2020 NHL Draft as compensation for losing their player.
On July 2, owner Tom Dundon stated that he would match the offer. Today, it was confirmed that the initial $11.3 million would be paid to Aho, and the team officially took on the contract.
The Montreal Canadiens’ first-, second-, and third-round picks in the 2020 NHL Draft that were tied up in the offer have been unlocked for use in other transactions.