It was short and bittersweet, delivered 15 minutes shy of a full week that started with Jesperi Kotkaniemi signing a $6.1-million offer sheet with the Carolina Hurricanes, and it was understated.

The Montreal Canadiens announced on Saturday they were walking away from the player they drafted third overall in 2018 and taking Carolina’s first- and third-round picks in the 2022 Draft for doing so, and general manager Marc Bergevin’s 18-word concession read, “Carolina has used a tool available to them in the collective bargaining agreement and we accept that decision.”

It was akin to a golf clap for a slam dunk, because the Hurricanes didn’t just “use a tool available to them” so much as they masterfully wielded it. They painted Bergevin into a corner and forced him to choose between overpaying Kotkaniemi and overpaying to replace him. They did it to avenge the offer sheet Bergevin tendered to Sebastian Aho in 2019, with Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon working a cheeky $20 signing bonus and tacking $15 onto Kotkaniemi’s salary as odes to Aho and Kotkaniemi’s respective jersey numbers before authorizing the team’s social media accounts to rub coarse salt in the wound, and they got what they wanted out of it.

First off, the Hurricanes got the player. If they didn’t want Kotkaniemi, they wouldn’t have offered to pay him close to three times what he was likely to earn this coming season.

“Jesperi Kotkaniemi is a player who has been on our radar since before his draft year,” said Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell in a statement that followed Bergevin’s announcement the Canadiens weren’t matching the offer. “We believe he will flourish in Rod Brind’Amour’s system and culture, and he will be an important piece of what we are building in Carolina for years to come.”

But even if that proves untrue, the Hurricanes still forced Bergevin to give up on one of the players he said he hoped to build around for years to come—a player his team developed over 200 games (regular season and post-season combined)—and they pushed him to give up more than he’d have liked to in a corresponding trade with the Arizona Coyotes. There’s no debating that’s a win for them.

But it’s not a total loss for Bergevin and the Canadiens. In fact, it could prove to be a win.

Sure, the price was steep to acquire Christian Dvorak from the Coyotes, but it was worth it. In the 25-year-old, the Canadiens have gained a versatile player who’s accumulated nearly a half-a-point per game over his first 302 in the NHL and done so on a team lacking the type of talent on the wings the Canadiens currently boast. They’ve given up on the better of their two first-round picks (their own or Carolina’s) in the 2022 Draft and their own second-rounder in 2024 to do it, but they’re also getting a player who’s better than Kotkaniemi is right now.