The Tampa Bay Lightning have settled on a contract extension for one season with restricted free agent Adam Erne. Adam will Erne $800,000 on a one-way deal meaning he will require waivers to be sent down, as well as his salary remains the same no matter where he goes. [Raw Charge]
Erne was originally a 2nd round pick, 33rd overall by the Lightning in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. He was drafted out of the QMJHL playing for the Quebec Remparts after putting up two 28 goal seasons and hitting 55 and 72 points. After being drafted, he spent two more seasons with the Remparts and added a 62 point in 48 game season to improve his point production on a per game basis. He followed that with a 41 goal, 86 point season in 60 games. He also helped the Remparts to the QMJHL Finals scoring 21 goals and 30 points over 22 playoff games.
Nikita Kucherov puts up points like no one else. Seriously, he is in some very thin air when it comes to point-production. [Raw Charge]
Nikita Kucherov is great. He was in the Hart trophy conversation this year. He should have been in it last year too but the Lightning’s disappointing season kept him from being a serious candidate. We could run through a litany of stats to establish his greatness: he scored 100 points this season; he’s been an elite play driver in both shots and expected goals during his career in Tampa.
Steve Yzerman got Kucherov locked in early and for a while, which is important considering he’s one of the best wingers in hockey right now. [NHL dot com]
“My thought is we get the opportunity to open negotiations after July 1 of the last year of their contract,” Yzerman explained. “Let’s sit down with the player and their agent to see if we can get something done early. From a player’s perspective, I think it eases their mind and they can plan their future a little bit. And from the team’s perspective, it helps us going forward knowing the cap number of the player, knowing the commitment we have to make other decisions accordingly.”
And yet, even after locking up Kuch to a $9.5 million cap hit, the Lightning should still be able to fenagle a deal for a certain high quality defenseman. [NBC Sports]
“I don’t think it’s impossible,” Yzerman said on a Wednesday conference call. “But if you just look at our one-way commitments for the following season, we still have cap space left for this year to add if we wanted. But if we were to bring in a significant contract we would have to make the money work so to speak, and going forward it would be the same situation beyond this year.”
Otto Somppi turned heads this past season after a massive final campaign for the Halifex Mooseheads. Not bad for a seventh round pick. [Raw Charge]
“I really liked Otto tonight. I saw him play a little bit during the year because he’s playing with my son [Benoit-Olivier Groulx, Anaheim Ducks]. This was his first game pro, I thought he was fine, I liked the he tried to make plays. For me, that’s the key. You go out there, you’re coming from junior and you try to play hockey. You try to make plays. That’s what you want to see from your young guys.”
The regular season schedule for the AHL Syracuse Crunch has been released!! Game one will be on the road against the Hershey Bears on October 6th. The 25th home opener in franchise history will be on October 13th against the Charlotte Checkers. [Syracuse Crunch]
The Crunch will face 15 teams in the North and Atlantic Divisions. The most frequent matchups will be 12 contests against both Rochester and Utica. Syracuse will also play 10 games against Binghamton, six each against Belleville, Laval and Toronto, four each against Charlotte, Cleveland and Springfield and two each against Bridgeport, Hartford, Hershey, Lehigh Valley, Providence and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
The #SyrCrunch will play in an NHL venue for the second straight season when they face the Marlies at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto Feb. 18. It'll be the sixth game in an NHL venue during the Lightning affiliation (twice in Montreal and once each in Buffalo, Ottawa and Washington)— Lukas Favale (@LukasFavale) July 11, 2018
And now your Connor Ingram Tweet of the Day:
Never been a fan of the country/hip hop crossover thing but when Jason Aldean hits that rap verse in “Dirt Road Anthem” my truck cab becomes an electric factory pic.twitter.com/2vbt14bsbT— Connor Ingram (@CBIngram1) July 11, 2018
Bettman states the goal for NHL esports will be to attract players and fans to the real-world NHL, not the other way around: “We wanted this to be another touch point and another connection to our real game. We weren’t looking to start something different. We weren’t looking to start a different league. We wanted to have our fans, who were into esports, to have a way to play our game and connect to our game.”
John Tavares wrote a piece in the Player’s Tribune yesterday in a hope to apologize to the bitter fanbase that broke his heart to leave. The Twitter replies aren’t pretty. [The Players Tribune]
“I was in the backyard by the pool with my fiancée, Aryne. The whole morning, I’d been out there, just wandering around, in this cloud of my own thoughts — almost like a nervous kid backstage before a school play, trying to keep track of his lines. Just pacing and thinking, pacing and thinking, for hours. Going over everything … again and again.
“And then suddenly I lost it.”