NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 3, 2018

by | Aug 3, 2018 | News, NHL | 10 comments

Hurricanes trade Jeff Skinner to the Sabres, Flames put Troy Brouwer on unconditional waivers plus the latest on William Karlsson and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes last night traded left wing Jeff Skinner to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for  a second-round draft pick in 2019, third- and sixth-round picks in 2020 and 20-year-old forward Cliff Pu.

The Carolina Hurricanes trade left wing Jeff Skinner to the Buffalo Sabres. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Very surprising in terms of destination and return. Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell told the News & Observer that Skinner, who has a full no-movement clause, gave them a limited number of potential trade destinations. The Sabres were high on the list for Skinner, a native of Markham, Ontario.

Recent speculation suggested the Hurricanes sought a scoring forward and perhaps a first-round pick for Skinner. They obviously couldn’t get that from the Sabres or other clubs on the winger’s list. As Waddell noted, the club felt it was best for him to move on after eight seasons in Carolina.

In other words, they wanted to get a deal done before training camp opened next month, rather than have the uncertainty over his status hanging over the club. Doing so, however, likely means they wound up accepting far less than they expected when they started talking to other clubs. 

Skinner’s departure leaves a glaring hole at left wing and hurts a team that was 23rd in goals for per game (2.74) last season. The Hurricanes didn’t get much of a return, though the additional prospects gives the Hurricanes some additional bargaining chips for other moves. Perhaps some of those assets to be packaged in a larger deal involving defenseman Justin Faulk, who’s also been a frequent subject of trade speculation this summer. 

As for the Sabres, they’ve landed a skilled 26-year-old scorer with three 30-plus goal seasons on his resume. Skinner should be a good fit skating alongside first-line center Jack Eichel and bolster their scoring punch.

He’s also due to become an unrestricted free agent next summer so it’ll be interesting to see how quickly Sabres GM Jason Botterill opens contract talks with the Skinner camp. Sabres GM Jason Botterill told The Buffalo News there’s been no contract discussions. Still, the fact Skinner wanted to come to Buffalo bodes well for their chances of getting him re-signed. 

CALGARY SUN: The Flames yesterday placed veteran winger Troy Brouwer on unconditional waivers for the purpose of buying out his contract. He has two years remaining on his contract worth an annual salary-cap hit of $4.5 million. The buyout will count as $1.5-million annually again the Flames salary-cap payroll for the next four years.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brouwer struggled during his previous two seasons with the Flames, seeing fourth line and penalty-killing duties last season. I think he’ll land with another NHL club seeking experienced, affordable checking-line depth but he might have to go the tryout route when training camps open in mid-September. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: With William Karlsson’s salary arbitration hearing slated for Saturday, the center is reportedly seeking $6.5-million annually while the Golden Knights countered with $3.5-million per season. 

THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings center Dylan Larkin said he’s confident he will have a new contract in place before training camp opens next month. The two sides are reportedly closing in on a long-term deal expected to be between five or six years in length.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche agreed to a one-year, $2.5-million contract with defenseman Patrik Nemeth. 



  1. Every time Botterill makes a move it makes me wish he was in Pittsburgh and Rutherford wasn’t. There’s no way Botterill would have signed Jackass. I bet Skinner would have had no issue going to Pittsburgh either.

    • Not sure how a Pens fan can really be unhappy with Rutherford.
      He won a lot of trades that helped with those 2 Cups.

      He gave up one good player (Neal) in all these deals combined

      Ian Cole

      and love or hate the Kessel deal he was a huge part of those Cups.

      • Rutherford gets a lot of slack because of the 2 cups and rightfully so in some aspects. He’s been 50/50 as far as deals go though. Last summer was a disaster and this summer has been as well. He’s been lucky as much as anything else. A lot of later round draft picks from the Shero era have worked out and that has been the real secret to the Penguins success. Rutherford has made some really bad moves and some really great onesz. Trading Sundqvist and the pick that became Klim Kostin for a face puncher and the pick that became Zach Lozon is just bad. Trading the pick that became Mathew Barzal for David Perron is equally as bad. Hiring Mike Johnston was a nightmare, and is was Botterill that hired Sullivan not Rutherford. Ending the 15 season so close to the cap they could only ice 5 dmen. He moved Despres for a useless Lovejoy. He traded for an even more useless Hainsy. He signs Jackass Johnson for 5 GD years. Botterill hirer Sullivan for WBS, Sullivan learned to rely on the young guys and he brought them to Pitts with him. Without Murray, Dumoulin, Sheary, Rust, Kuhnhackle etc the Pens don’t win the cup in 2016. It’s a series of dumb luck that got the Pens 2 cups. That’s not to say Rutherford didn’t do a great job in some instances. Last summer was a disaster but last season getting Sheahan, Brassard and Oleksiak for almost nothing is just fantastic work. Sheahan and Oleksiak could become members of the core this year, I think Oleksiak is the next Chara and is a late bloomer with a ton of potential. This is going to be his year and all he cost was Josh Archibald.

  2. I’m in awe with this deal … no player with any NHL experience coming back…. Pu may or may not become an NHLer…. the 3 pics are speculation and realistically the earliest any of those pics dress in a game (if at all) is in 20-21

    This IMO was a skewed deal in favour of Buff …. Kudos go out to Botteril

    I think there will be a few GMs second guessing what they previously offered to Waddell for Skins

    • and if Buffalo is out of the playoff picture by trade deadline, they’ll get more for Skinner then they gave up.

    • Yeah, I sure Botteril was so great that he talked Carolina out of taking a better deal. How did he do it? It must be mind control or something. So yeah, let’s cheer for the genius of Botteril!

  3. I realize that William Karlson’s Arb is one of the most unique in many years in that he had such a meteoric rise in one season …. this is a product of change, natural development; opportunity ; and linemates

    Is there an expectation of several more years of 40+ goals …. not likely

    Is it likely he would tank perpetually below 25 goals …. much less likely

    …. so if the rationale is with a more likely expectation of the next few years in the high 20’s for goals ….. what is the value …. certainly not $3.5M

    I know these are all “asks” and “offers” pre Arb meeting… but if I’m VGKs …. I get a long term deal done today

    • Karlsson had something like a 24% shooting pct which is absolutely unsustainable. If he gets more than 4 mill and more than 3 years then we are looking at the epitome of an albatross contract.

  4. I was thinking that the Sabres got Skinner for a bag of pucks but, on second thought, they got him for just half a puck.They got him for Pu.

    • Well now Carolina has Pu on it’s hands. Let hope they wash before meals….