Canadiens send offer sheet to Hurricanes RFA Sebastian Aho

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Restricted free agent Sebastian Aho has been sent a five-year offer worth just north of $42 million from the Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
Restricted free agent Sebastian Aho has been sent a five-year offer worth just north of $42 million from the Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Carolina Hurricanes restricted free agent Sebastian Aho officially has a five-year offer from the Montreal Canadiens on the table worth an average annual value of $8.454 million.

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It’s the breakdown of the finances that is what makes things interesting, though. According to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, each year of the proposed contract would kick off with a hefty signing bonus.

With the Hurricanes operating as a small-market team, that’s definitely worth noting. The club has a week to match the offer.

“It's certainly a surprise, it's a surprise it wasn't more,” said Carolina’s general manager Don Waddell, according to Sara Civ of The Athletic. “Literally we got the email at 2:40 today so all people are not fully aware yet.

“I know my summer just got better because I'm not going to spend all summer working on a contract now,” he continued.

The 21-year-old restricted free agent led the Hurricanes with 30 goals and 83 points last season. He also finished atop team postseason scoring with 12 points in 15 games.

In his three seasons in the NHL, he’s scored at least 24 goals every year.

According to Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, through Sportsnet’s Eric Engels, Aho has accepted the offer and “wants to come to the Montreal Canadiens.”

If the Hurricanes decided not match the offer sheet (which, if we’re being honest, seems unlikely because that would be insane), they would receive a first-, second- and third-round pick from Montreal as compensation, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.

This is the first time the Canadiens have tendered an offer sheet in their illustrious history, and is the NHL’s first since the Avalanche matched the Flames’ offer for Ryan O’Reilly in 2013.

In the last two decades, only one offer sheet has been accepted. That was the Edmonton Oilers swiping Dustin Penner from the Anaheim Ducks in July of 2007. The winger inked a five-year, $21.5 million contract north of the border while the Ducks were compensated with a first-, second- and third-round pick in 2008.

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