Hurricanes officially match Canadiens’ offer sheet for Sebastian Aho

Carolina Hurricanes' Sebastian Aho, left, of Finland, looks for an open pass as Columbus Blue Jackets' Alexander Wennberg, of Sweden, defends during the third period of an NHL hockey game Friday, Oct. 5, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. The Hurricanes beat the Blue Jackets 3-1. (Jay LaPrete/AP)

The Carolina Hurricanes have officially matched the offer sheet Sebastian Aho signed with the Montreal Canadiens, the team announced Sunday.

Aho agreed to a five-year, $42.27-million offer sheet with the Canadians on July 1 giving the Hurricanes a week to match or be compensated with a Canadiens’ first-, second- and third-round draft pick.

The Hurricanes had already made it clear they intended to match the offer sheet made by Montreal after the deal was signed.

“This was an easy decision,” Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said in a press release. “Sebastian is one of the best players in the league and the centrepiece of what we’re building here. We’ve spoken to him throughout this process and he’s made it clear that he wants to be in Raleigh and be a part of this organization.

“It’s our job to manage our cap space as our players develop and hit free agency. There was no concern at any point that we would not be able to match this contract. Once again, the Carolina Hurricanes should not be underestimated. We have a plan and all the resources to win a Stanley Cup.”

The 21-year-old will receive an $11.3-million signing bonus and will be owed $21 million in the first calendar year under the new deal.

Aho sent out a statement on Twitter saying he appreciated the offer from the Canadiens but he always intended to return to Carolina and is happy to have this difficult situation come to an end.

Aho led the Hurricanes with 30 goals and 83 points in 82 games in 2018-19. The Rauma, Finland, native also had five goals and 12 points in 15 playoff contests.


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