Despite the Carolina Hurricanes' numerous references suggesting otherwise, general manager Don Waddell insists the Jesperi Kotkaniemi offer sheet wasn't about getting back at the Montreal Canadiens for doing the same to Sebastian Aho two years ago.
"It certainly was not revenge," Waddell said Sunday. "We talked about this player, we know this player."
"(We used) the CBA as other teams have in the past to try to acquire a 21-year-old player," he added. "So to us, it was all about the player. We looked around the league and thought this made the most sense from where we are as a team.
"We have a couple of other good Finnish players on our team and thought this would be a great fit."
On Saturday, Montreal chose not to match an offer sheet for $6,100,015 that Carolina tendered to Kotkaniemi one week earlier, making the forward a member of the Hurricanes. Carolina was also forced to surrender a first- and third-round pick to Montreal as compensation.