Jesperi Kotkaniemi among six Canadiens to get qualifying offers

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin made qualifying contract offers to six players on Monday, including Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Artturi Lehkonen.

Both players are restricted free agents with the NHL free-agency signing period beginning on Wednesday.

Kotkaniemi posted 5-15-20 totals in 56 regular-season games this year and had 5-3-8 totals in 19 playoff games. The 21-year-old centre is coming off a three-year, NHL entry-level contract worth US$10.275 million with an annual salary-cap hit of $925,000.

Lehkonen posted 7-6-13 totals in 47 regular-season games and had 3-1-4 totals in 17 playoff games. The 26-year-old left-winger is coming off a two-year, US$4.8 million contract with an annual salary-cap hit of $2.4 million.

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Stu Cowan

Stu Cowan

Montreal Gazette

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Sports columnist at The Montreal Gazette and regular panelist on the HI/O Show talking about the Canadiens on