“It’s done and that’s the best part because now I don’t have to think about it for the next five years,” Aho told NHL.com’s Dan Rosen. “Last year was awesome in Carolina with great teammates, a great coach. I love it in Carolina.”
The Habs tendered the 22-year-old a five-year, $42.27-million offer sheet on July 1. He signed it, forcing the Hurricanes to decide whether to match the deal.
The decision was a no-brainer for Carolina’s brass, but speculation about Aho’s intentions and whether the ‘Canes could afford to retain him ran rampant.
“It wasn’t an easy decision, but at the same time I had literally like a day or less, actually, to think about it,” Aho said. “It felt right. Now I’m thinking about it, I’m happy with my situation. It worked out. It really did.
“I did sign an offer sheet with Montreal and I’m thankful for them to offer me that contract, but I’m happy to be in Carolina.”
The Hurricanes announced their intention to match the offer sheet on July 2, and the team officially did so on July 7. Owner Tom Dundon said the process was a “waste of time.”
Aho recorded a tremendous third NHL season in 2018-19, leading the Hurricanes with 83 points in 82 games before pacing the club in playoff scoring too, notching 12 points in 15 postseason contests.
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