NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 15, 2019

by | Aug 15, 2019 | News, NHL | 22 comments

Updates on Zach Werenski and Kyle Connor, the Lightning trade Adam Erne to the Red Wings, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Defenseman Zach Werenski’s agent, Pat Brisson, expects his client will re-sign with the Columbus Blue Jackets before training camp opens in September.

“I have been in communication with the Jackets throughout the summer,” said Brisson. “It’s our intention to have an agreement in time for camp. I’m most certain we will be continuing our talks in the near future.”

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets winger Kyle Connor is hopeful of signing a long-term contract. The restricted free agent also hopes to avoid missing training camp next month.

Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor hopes to have a new contract before training camp opens in September (Photo via NHL Images)

“That’s definitely the plan,” he said. “A player never wants to miss time in training camp. It’s tough coming in, not getting that preparation and time with the teammates in practice. But things happen, so we’ll see. I’ll be prepared if it happens.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: None of the unsigned RFAs want to miss the start of training camp. I’m sure all of them, especially Mitch Marner, saw how Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander struggled after missing almost half of last season to a contract standoff with management.

With about a month until training camps open in September, there’s plenty of time for these players to sign new deals. I anticipate we’ll see a flurry of signings in early/mid-September.

TAMPA BAY TIMES/THE DETROIT NEWS: The Tampa Bay Lightning yesterday traded left wing Adam Erne to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a four-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A rare mid-August NHL trade. With $9.3 million in salary-cap space and most of that headed to restricted free agent center Brayden Point, there wasn’t enough for the Lightning to retain Erne. He’ll probably be replaced with an affordable call-up or UFA signing.

The rebuilding Wings land a young (24) winger with some NHL experience and the potential to contribute more with increased playing time. He’ll get that opportunity in Detroit.

VANCOUVER SUN: A Canucks spokesperson said the club has no current plans for the upcoming season to retire the number of Roberto Luongo but the club is “sure his name will be included in future discussions.” They also acknowledged Luongo’s 20-year NHL career, including the eight seasons he spent with the Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect the Canucks will retire Luongo’s number at some point. The future Hall-of-Famer was a big reason why the Canucks rose to dominance in the Western Conference from 2008-09 to 2012-13, including their march to the Stanley Cup Final in 2011.

Luongo is the Canucks all-time leader in career wins (252), shutouts (38) and second all-time in goals-against average (2.36), games played (448) and save percentage (.919). He’s also the single-season leader in games played (76), wins (47), and shutouts (nine).

SPORTING NEWS: Former NHL goaltender Eddie Lack yesterday announced he won’t be signing with an NHL club this season, focusing instead on recovering from a hip injury suffered in the minors last season. He revealed he played through hip pain throughout the past six seasons. As he rehabs, Lack will be the goaltending coach at Arizona State University.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best of luck to Lack in his recovery. If he’s unable to continue his playing career, perhaps he’ll have a future in coaching.

THE SCORE: Seattle general manager Ron Francis said the expansion NHL franchise will reveal its new name in early 2020.


  1. The Adam Erne trade could be used to argue that the hard salary cap can be beneficial for young players as he now has a chance to blossom in a different environment.
    Pretty sure that he’d rather be in Tampa though with a chance to win the Cup year after year.

  2. I am gobsmacked

    To me , the Erne trade was certainly a steal.

    It is strange (check that… absolutely nuts) that Bolts thought that they couldn’t afford the extra $350K for Erne. He got $1.05M ($350 K over League Min)on a 1 yr. Any other player filling that spot has to be paid league Min!!!!

    If they had no intentions on paying him that amount; you would figure they could have gotten better than a 4th from someone else????

    The lowest that pick could be is 94th (1st pick in Round 4) and will likely be post 100th pick.

    That is a head scratcher to me.

    The extra $350K is not going to move the needle either way w.r.t. the contract signing of Point.

    Heck— Erne signed $1.05M in Det; and therefore his take home would have been the same if he signed for Bolts at $935K ($235K over min.) AND would have been on a team that has (as at now, IMO) the best chance at a cup in 2020.

    So… with that in mind; one could argue, for the sake of saving $235K; Bolts gave up a solid player to get a pick somewhere in the #100 spot??????

    This morning I’m Koo Koo for Cocoa Puffs

    • There is the possibility that Erne requested a trade as well. TBL has a very deep forward group. Maybe he thought he would get more playing time and opportunity on another team and be able to increase his stock for his next contract.

      • Hi DM

        You just may be right on that.

        The more I think about it; the likely replacement will be one of Raddysh or Katchouk— both at 833K… so savings is only 217K

        Outside of Erne asking for a trade though… 4 th rounder is very very low return IMHO.

    • I watch a lot of Tampa, and I like Erne. However I don’t see his ceiling much higher than it is today. He’s 24 he had 20 points last year and 27 for his career in 114 games. I know he was picked early in the 2nd round, but that was 6 years ago.

      Today, I think his value at best was a 3rd rounder. And I’m sure he was shopped to more than just Detroit. It’s not like anyone was offering more, and Tampa just settled on a 4th for the hell of it.

      It is what it is, and by no stretch was this a fleecing. Ultimately…. he is what he is… a 3rd or 4th line plugger. Tampa has been brilliant in drafting and developing players. I don’t think they just let their next Kucherov slip out the door for a 4th.

    • Maybe they wanted him out before training camp so all their really good players don’t have to worry about getting maimed.

  3. I think it is fascinating 2 watch all of these moves 1st off the ice then on in Detroit then Tampa.
    I get the feeling that Mr Bris Bois does not hae much respect 4 great character guys & is more for the glitz.
    I am already sensing impatience in Detroit-Mistake Wingers.

  4. There will be five younger guys with high ceilings competing for the erne slot. Maybe none will do as well, maybe one will become a star. But he looks to have become a fourth liner/sitting forward with a couple of starling plays a year…probably both he and the team benefit from the scenery change . Because of differences in team depth, he can probably play 80 games for the Red Wings. This may actually be a good hockey trade for both teams, and we are so unused to seeing this we nitpik

    • Hi Richard

      Bang on with a benefit to both teams. Fully agree that Erne will get more playing time with Detroit and that he had sort of cut a “niche” as a 4th liner in Bolts country; and the odds of a move to regular top 9 (on Bolts) with future better remuneration; was limited.

      My difficulty in the trade is the return.

      How could other teams not have offered at least a 3rd?

      Just on today’s Spector’s the discussion ……SJ looking for a winger. Would Erne not be better than 40 year old Marleau?

      A SJ 3rd would likely mean picking in the low-mid 80th vs almost likely just north of the 100th pick.

      …. and that is just looking at SJ

      Yes I know that picks past 2nd round are getting to the “stab in the dark” scenario w.r.t. future NHLers; but the lower the pick, the more “likely” the “stab in the dark” does become an NHLer.

      That is what was confusing me…. 4th from Detroit, too little IMO

      • A 40 year old marleau much better.

  5. Connor say he wants to sign long term, I wonder what that number is for a guy coming off back to back 30 goal seasons (31,34) he certainly doesn’t get the lime light of the other rfa’s and that’s because his points are 57pts and 66pts but he can score and he is still projecting upwards.
    Would 8yrs at $6m sound about right? Some may argue he benefits from playing with Wheeler and Scheifele. However Connor has proven he can score when moved off the top line; for example when Maurice was trying to get Laine going and moved him up to the first line, Connor continue to produce on the second line; unfortunately the move didn’t help Laine but that’s for another day. I will say Laine needs to accept a bridge deal after last season performance.

  6. Worst moves of the summer?

    -Leafs trade a 1st for Canes to take Marleau contract
    -Rangers sign Trouba for 8million who has never played a minute for them
    -Calgary takes Lucic for Neal
    -Philly overpays Hayes

    • And it ain’t over yet ds

    • I’m not so quick in calling the Flames trade for Lucic one of the worst trade of the summer. Lucic will score between 18 – 22 goals this season.

      • That’s a bold statement caper! Especially considering he’s only score 16 over the last 2 seasons.

      • Lucic could not finish with McDavid or RNH

        never mind backlund, bennett, jankowski

      • Somehow that smacks more of wishful-thinking based on a Striker “bounce-back” prediction than anything tangible. For Calgary’s sake I hope you’re right and that he not only goes back to his form of 3 seasons ago, but also displays his nastier side more often. Just that I wouldn’t hold my breath.

      • DS McDavid was never a good fit for Lucic. The reason Krecji was such a good fit for Milan was because Krecji game isn’t built on speed, he slows the pace and controls the play.

      • Would bet $20 against Lucic getting between 18 – 22.
        I get why Calgary made the trade but I think it was more about getting Neal out.
        I also don’t agree that Lucic will be beneficial protecting guys like Johnny and Monahan because he will get next to zero ice time with them and it’s not like you can jump guys and start pounding them in the NHL anymore.
        Lucic is a decent guy, works hard, and can be the most punishing hitter in the NHL. When he decides to. But you can’t play that way every day when you are 30 ish.
        Neal is an A-hole (by all accounts from my friends in Cgy), but is a proven scorer and cheaper to buy out if necessary.

    • Hi ds

      IMHO, Worst move was a “non-move”….in June Jimbo could have bought out JJ and only had a Cap hit of $270K

      That mistake trumps all others IMO


      • Keeping JJ and the Tanev deal and galychunk over kessel…
        tell me the Pens look better for next season

  7. I don’t see the Marleau trade as bad , gave them the cap room to sign Kapanen and Jonson. If the Leafs don’t make the playoffs it’s lottery protected.
    And Marleau may sign with the Leafs.
    To me ,I was disappointed they lost Conner Brown. I believe he will be a 25 goal scorer given the opportunity. He he is a heart and soul guy. He is way underrated.