NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 3, 2018
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.
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.