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Habs Offer Sheet for Aho

Habsy

Wrong Thinker Extraordinaire
Panthers had the 9th best goals for and 4th worst goals against. They missed the playoffs by 12 points. Is Bob 6 wins better than Luongo/Reimer? Uh, yes.
I have Panther's season tix and see about 25-30 games a year personally and I can tell you that they have a darn nice group of forwards. Their D is suspect outside of Ekblad/Yandle and have now added Stralman which will solidify their 2nd pairing. Their biggest issue was in net, they used a lot of different goalies last season. The addition of Bobrovsky (provided he plays like the two time Vezina guy he is) will transform that team. I expect them to push hard for the playoffs with either Carolina or Columbus dropping out, maybe both. The habs finished with 2 less wins than the Leafs and Canes. Had our backup Niemi not been so horrible it's likely they squeak in. They've addressed the backup situation with a better Kinkaid and have some nice prospects coming up. I'm not entirely sure they make the playoffs this season but they will still be a good team.

The East keeps getting tighter and tighter.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
LOL alert ...

I saw a post from some wag or another on Twitter indicating that a Habs fan had edited Tom Dundon's Wiki page so I looked it up this morning. Yup.
Here's what the section detailing his purchase of the Hurricanes now looks like:

In late 2017, Dundon became involved in purchasing the Carolina Blow of the National Hockey League from owner Peter Karmanos Jr. who had owned the team since it was the Hartford Whalers.[3] Dundon became majority owner of the team on January 11, 2018, in a transaction where he purchased 52% of the team and the operating rights to PNC Arena for $420 million.[4] He is now broke

I mean that's petty as hell, and I respect that. Sort of.
 

cmaleski2

Well-known member
That was the Molson Miracle. The order might have thrown people as Sean Hill had the first goal, then Bates, Cole and Wallin.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Meh ... all I care about are the last two. Those were the ones that left a mark.

FWIW, I managed to glean a few more details on this how this situation unfolded, but you know what? I'm not even bothering. Nothing I learned was really all that big and a deal and everybody already has their positions on this issue staked out to the point that I don't feel like arguing over small details. Suffice to say that upon further review I think there are less bad guys in this drama than most people want there to be, and that while Aho's agent might have done a job for his client I don't think I like him very much. He didn't do anything wrong though ... he's just not a nice bloke.
 

SlapShots

Active member
Meh ... all I care about are the last two. Those were the ones that left a mark.

FWIW, I managed to glean a few more details on this how this situation unfolded, but you know what? I'm not even bothering. Nothing I learned was really all that big and a deal and everybody already has their positions on this issue staked out to the point that I don't feel like arguing over small details. Suffice to say that upon further review I think there are less bad guys in this drama than most people want there to be, and that while Aho's agent might have done a job for his client I don't think I like him very much. He didn't do anything wrong though ... he's just not a nice bloke.
Now really, you don't get to say there's more information and then add there's nothing to see here except Gerry Johansson is a sh!t.
 

Tryamw

Active member
It may not be nice but of course he can. We are free to weight that info ourselves and consider it worth whatever we deem. We are also free to put jeffbear on ignore. I don't intend to pursue that either.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
OK, fine ... I mostly wrote this in my head anyway, and it won't change anything. The agent is mostly a jerk in how he has manipulated the media and let's be honest ... the Canadian hockey media doesn't need a lot of manipulation to believe less flattering things about non-traditional US markets. It plays right into their prejudices. Note that all numbers are AAV.

First, the much ballyhooed "$6.5 million dollar offer" happened .... in the fall of 2018. At that time Aho was a winger and the Canes were negotiating extensions with him and Terravainen. Turbo's negotiations went well and the team carried on negotiating with his agent and eventually got him to agree to a long term deal at $5.4 million. Aho's negotiations went less well, with the agent basically shutting them down until after the season. They were clearly betting on Aho having a great year, which he proceeded to do, in the process transforming himself from a scoring winger to a line-driving center. No big deal and nobody saw it as a red flag.

Next step ... Aho and Carolina pick up negotiations a couple of weeks after the season winds down. Carolina has two plays here ... they would either push it quickly and try to get Aho to bite on a bridge deal with a starting offer of 2 years at $7.5 million, and if that got shot down they would hunker in for the long haul and try and hammer out a long term deal at a higher figure. I do NOT know the higher figure, but you can do the math ... it's probably in line with the $8.5 that he eventually got. Aho's agent shoots down the very idea of a bridge deal as insulting ... hint, it's not ... and flatly states that Aho will not sign for more than 5 years. Period. That of course, is the scenario Carolina most wants to avoid because no GM wants his best forward's contract to take him right up to the earliest UFA date and no further. That's gut level basic. They schedule a second session for draft weekend and everybody goes to their corners to plot strategy.

Here's where it gets dicey. Before they even have a change to sit down in Vancouver, there are rumors floating around the media that Carolina and Aho are miles apart and that the Canes are lowballing their star player. Apparently the Canes walked into the room and were confronted with an ultimatum from Johansson ... 5 year deal or we start shopping for offer sheets when the talking period opens after the draft. Carolina agains states that they're rather not do that and tells Johansson they'll get back to him. End of meeting. No fireworks, no arguing, no real conflict. Just two parties not on the same page yet, with term being the sticking point.. Big whoop. Before the end of the day, that $6.5 million offer the Canes made to Aho back in 2018 surfaces on the internet. That number never came up in negotiations and is no longer on the table, but some in the media are hearing it and chattering about the Canes squeezing Aho and what a disastrous meeting they had, yadda, yadda. At this point the hockey media big boys are even reporting about how badly the meeting went. Carolina sticks to their guns and contacts Johansson to get feedback a week later ahead of the talking period for UFAs and RFAs. That's when they get ghosted by Johansson, and Waddell later says that's when they figured they were going to have to deal with an offer sheet. So Carolina reaches out to their own media contracts to reassure the hockey world that they will match any offer.

And here's what the Canes believe happened from there. Johansson is plugged in up in Montreal. Not just with the team, since he reps a good chunk of their roster, but also with the media. Johansson doesn't just call up Bergevin to inform him that he'd love to see an offer sheet for Aho for 5 years at $8.5 million, he also starts a whisper session with some writers downplaying Carolina's financial stability and hinting that this is the real reason Aho "wants out." The Canes have NOT been told that their player wants out, and whether he actually does or not is clearly a matter of much internet debate to this day. But the rumors of the club's financial issues are percolating none the less, and when the Montreal media is presented with the idea that Aho wants out of Carolina by Bergevin and Johansson after the offer sheet is signed ... of course he does. That's confirms what has been talked about around day for the last couple of days. Carolina believes that when he met with Bergevin in the discussion period, that Johansson presented him with the structure of the offer sheet that was eventually signed ... including the signing bonus structure which was designed specifically to take force Dundon to come out of pocket for two huge chunks of money within the span of a year. In other words, when Waddell and Dundon had their press availability and acted insulted by the offer they weren't acting. The Canes see that offer sheet as something that specifically targeted Dundon and was specifically geared to leverage Montreal's interest into a lockout proof contract when they never got the chance to even have a conversation about that in open negotiations. Carolina would assert that the agent knew full well that the club was fully and financially committed to keeping his client for the long term, and eventually the likelihood was that he'd get virtually the same money in terms of AAV for a long deal with the term being the only sticking point. Carolina was confident that if term was the only issue, they'd figure it out well before camp.

Some of that is bound to be self-serving in that you never see yourself as the bad guy in these scenarios. But I sat down yesterday and scrolled through the Twitter posts of several hockey media types and what do you know? Carolina's story checks out in terms of the timing. What I don't know for sure is whether or not Johansson really never got around to negotiating on term and a bonus structure with Carolina. But since the rest of this checks out I think the larger narrative sounds plausible. So, bottom line ... this whole negotiation was a freaking ambush. Carolina probably should have been more proactive in their negotiations and maybe they would have sniffed it out soon enough to avoid all the slagging off they got in the media ... but maybe not. Who knows?
 
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jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Sure.

Note that all I really added was confirmation of the timing of the deals offered Aho and the reaction to those deals. From there everything is what the club THINKS went on. They might know with a little more certainty by now ... I dunno. My guy got briefed off the record at some point after the announcement of the match and that's the end of that.

Also for our Montreal friends, I don't think this stuff changes anything from your perspective. Either way, an agent brought Montreal an opportunity to do something out of ordinary (by recent standards) to get a player your team liked for a price they liked and the Habs jumped on it. Cool. There's absolutely zero reason for the fan bases of the two clubs to keep bashing each other's brains in on the internet over something like that.
 

cmaleski2

Well-known member
This whole situation brought out those types of fans who think that the Canes should be moved. No matter how this all came about, it sparked a lot of that Canada centric NHL superiority and entitlement nonsense. I got to read hundreds of times about the Canes revenues, gate take, how we are a team that benefits from revenue sharing, how low our cap spending WAS, that we are Houston bound first chance Dundon gets and all that fun stuff.

Basically a whole lot of garbage, but fueled by the media and hockey pundits and eaten up by some fans. I'm glad we won't be waiting for months for Aho to be signed at least.

Now we need either the Habs to throw out another offer sheet or for the NYI to really deliver the ridiculous offer sheet to Marner that has been the hot new rumor.
 
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SlapShots

Active member
Thanks, JB!

I appreciate all the time it took to write that and the the information you shared...

Even the thinnest paper has two sides and I like how your version paints it-- makes a lot more sense as to how the negotiations unraveled so quickly. The guy sure sounds like a jerk, especially as Waddell, who tends to be transparent, let it be known they were not that far apart in term, comparable and salary. Meanwhile, other contracts for RFA are still being negotiated-- Marner, Point, Laine, Rantanen, Trouba, Binnington (filed for arbitration), Thachuk...
 

ThinIce

Active member
Great analysis, JB. While we may not know all the pieces, it's hard to dispute the logic path that you laid out so well. OK, on to other things!
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
This whole situation brought out those types of fans who think that the Canes should be moved. No matter how this all came about, it sparked a lot of that Canada centric NHL superiority and entitlement nonsense. I got to read hundreds of times about the Canes revenues, gate take, how we are a team that benefits from revenue sharing, how low our cap spending WAS, that we are Houston bound first chance Dundon gets and all that fun stuff.

Basically a whole lot of garbage, but fueled by the media and hockey pundits and eaten up by some fans. I'm glad we won't be waiting for months for Aho to be signed at least.

Now we need either the Habs to throw out another offer sheet or for the NYI to really deliver the ridiculous offer sheet to Marner that has been the hot new rumor.
Neither one of them have the cap space to offer sheet anyone of that magnitude ... although EVERYBODY s instantly trade-able if you listen to Hockey Internet. God save us from all these idiots who think somebody's just going to magically take Nick Leddy off your hands for a 4th rounder in two years to help you make the fantasy offer sheet that your GM probably isn't going to make. Then again, Ottawa is collecting crap defensemen so give that idiot a call.

And the moral of this whole mess, at least for me, is that hockey as a sport is still in dire need of a grownup, adult media that actually know what they're doing and care about their professional reputations. Just having Bob McKenzie to fall back on isn't good enough, hockey press. 90% of the rest of you will literally believe anything some guy at a bar whispers in your ear so long as it fits within your pre-informed, half educated, kindergarten simple framework of how the league works.
 

HeyKurtz

Active member
FYI, per the club's Facebook, the Canes officially matched the offer sheet earlier today. I love that they made Montreal wait.
 

Elsker

Active member
While poking around in PuckPedia this weekend chasing a reference that Anton Forsberg had the same agent as Sebastian Aho I learned something interesting (assuming their information is current).

Turned out that common agent was not Gerry Johannson, the seemingly front man for negotiation of the offer sheet and issuer of the PR quotes before, during, and afterward.

Instead both players have Mika Rautakallio listed as their agent. And Mika Rautakallio is the sole agent for MPR-Hockey Oy representing 11 players.

So to me this looks like a one-person (with administrative support) agency may have teamed with a more experienced "offer-sheet" agent, CEO of a multi-person agency firm (and with Montreal connections?), and representing many more players (37), to take the lead on this aspect of the negotiation, while remaining the personal liaison to Aho throughout?

This kind of cross-agency teaming situationally happens all the time in the commercial brokerage world with which I am more familiar. May have happened here, too, unless Aho switched agents recently (with no hoopla?) and Puckpedia is just behind the curve.
 
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