The Montreal Canadiens shocked the hockey world on Monday when they signed Carolina Hurricanes restricted free-agent forward Sebastian Aho to a five-year, $42.27-million offer sheet. It was the first time since 2013 that an offer sheet had been signed.
For Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon, who said Tuesday his club will match the offer sheet, it was apparently more of a nuisance than an actual obstacle.
"Everyone's trying to make their team better," Dundon told ESPN's Greg Wyshynski. "We've looked at all the ways to (do that), never came to the conclusion that the offer sheet was the best way. Your probability of succeeding is almost zero. It was proven that it was a waste of time."
Only one offer sheet - Dustin Penner in 2007 - hasn't been matched since 1997.
The $8.454-million cap hit on Aho's offer sheet was much lower than many expected for a player of his caliber. However, Montreal front-loaded the deal with $21.87 million to be paid out in bonuses over the first 12 months.
"This sounds terrible but writing that check is no big deal," Dundon said, according to The Athletic's Sara Civian. "The fact that you're (Canadian media) asking me if $20 million is a lot might be how we got in this situation."
Dundon became the majority owner of the Hurricanes on Jan. 11, 2018. Forbes estimated his net worth to be $1.1 billion in 2015.
Aho's agent, Gerry Johannson, added some drama to the situation by telling reporters that his client "100 percent" wants to play in Montreal.
"I couldn't care less about Sebastian's agent," Dundon told Civian. "It doesn't matter at all.
"There's no scenario where Sebastian Aho doesn't want to be on the Hurricanes. If he said that it would be different but he didn't. The fact that an agent said it means that there's no credibility to it, number one."