Canadiens fans boo Kotkaniemi on his return to Montreal – .

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Canadiens fans boo Kotkaniemi on his return to Montreal – .


Carolina Hurricanes forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi (82) was not greeted with open arms in Montreal. (Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports)

The Carolina Hurricanes were in Montreal Thursday night to face the Canadiens at the Bell Center, marking the return of Jesperi Kotkaniemi, who was at the center of little off-season drama after signing an offer with the Canes.

Much like hockey, the crowd at the Bell Center greeted the 21-year-old with hoots and mocking chants.

The Canadians recognized the former third overall pick by posting him on the jumbotron, which sparked another wave of disapproval from the almost sold-out crowd.

It was Kotkaniemi who had the last laugh, however, scoring a goal in the third period for his first point with the Hurricanes – much to Hockey Twitter’s delight. Carolina ended up coming off with a 4-1 win, keeping Montreal winless this season.

The Pori, Finland native has played 171 games for the Habs in three seasons, scoring 22 goals and collecting 40 assists. He also registered 12 points in 29 playoff games, including five goals in Montreal’s race to the Stanley Cup final last season.

Carolina made an offer to Kotkaniemi in late August, offering a one-year contract at $ 6.1 million. Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin chose not to tie, and Montreal received a first and third round pick as compensation.

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