Jesperi Kotkaniemi on the ice with the Caroline Hurricanes.
Photo credit: The Canadian Press

Hurricanes to healthy scratch their fourth highest-paid forward

Published March 30, 2024 at 11:40

According to a new report, the Carolina Hurricanes are planning to healthy scratch their fourth highest-paid forward: Jesperi Kotkaniemi.

The Canes are set to face the Montreal Canadiens tonight, Kotkaniemi's former team.

Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind'Amour to healthy scratch Jesperi Kotkaniemi tonight against his former team.

At yesterday's practice in Carolina, the Habs' former first round pick was practicing on the fourth line during drills.

"Noesen, Drury, Kotkaniemi and Fast rotating with the fourth line for drills."

After a mere 9-point tally in his last 52 games, it doesn't look like he's still part of the organization's plans.

Videos of the practice showed that Kotkaniemi seemed to be the odd man out during practice. Don't be surprised if the team announces before the start of the game that he's being scratched, and gets to return to the Bell Center stands, in Montreal, from where he watched so many games in the past.

Things ended poorly in Montreal, and they aren't going any better with his new team.

This can't be easy for the young player.

His $4,820,000 AAV contract for the next six seasons will be a tough pill to swallow for Canes' fans and management, especially if he continues to have underwhelming performances.

With the addition of Evgeny Kuznetsov to the lineup at the last trade deadline, the team has impressive depth in the center position.
It's only normal to see Kotkaniemi falling to the fourth line, and eventually, the extras, if he doesn't show he can be better.

Do you think Kotkaniemi will be healthy scratched tonight?

Stay tuned.

As seen on Habs Fanatics - Sad announcement in Montreal and the end for Kotkaniemi in Carolina?
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