Heading into yesterday, the Bolts had two remaining restricted free agents to sign. They now only have one. General Manager Julien Brisebois traded Adam Erne to the Detroit Red Wings for a fourth round pick. Apparently, Steve Yzerman, who originally drafted Erne in 2013, was keen enough to acquire the fourth liner to give up a draft pick. The move frees up a roster spot for the Lightning and allows for a forward who shined in Syracuse last year to earn a spot in the NHL this season.
There are a handful of skilled and determined players in the hunt and with Erne out of the picture, the potential for a player like Carter Verhaeghe (who led the AHL in scoring), Taylor Raddysh, or Alex Barré-Boulet to get an opportunity to show their stuff in the NHL is huge.
The Wings fanbase is skeptical of the deal. For a team in rebuilding mode, giving up a draft pick for a bottom six forward seems a questionable move.
The reasoning here is that Erne very much seems like the kind of third/fourth line depth player who would fit naturally onto a contender but is slightly out of place on a team like Detroit that very much needs that position to be more fluid with development. While the concept of “if you can’t beat out Adam Erne/Jacob De La Rose for a roster spot, maybe you should grow a bit more in Grand Rapids” remains defensible, it’s also a stretch to add another potential obstacle for kids like Michael Rasmussen.
Later in the evening, news broke that the Wings signed Erne to a one year deal. This is about what Erne was expected to make so it seems unlikely contract negotiations were an issue with the Lightning. The motivation for the trade was most likely the desire to maximize cap space this season and to make room in the lineup for a player with more upside.
Detroit #RedWings have signed newly acquired F Adam Erne to a 1 year/1-way contract with an AAV of $1.05M ($950k Base + $100k SB).— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) August 15, 2019
Erne will once again be an RFA with Arb rights when his new deal expires next summer.https://t.co/GsUrbCKk3s https://t.co/JPXYfG1DdE
In our ongoing Top 25 Under 25 series, we reached one of the most fun Lightning prospects: Sammy Walker. Lauren gave him a great writeup.
The Tampa Bay Lightning’s seventh rounder in 2017 led all Big Ten rookies in scoring with 26 points, and was the first Minnesota Gopher to be named the conference’s freshman of the year. Walker, whose nickname is ‘Mr. Hockey’, centered the Gophers’ third line all season with sophomore Nathan Burke and fellow freshman Blake McLaughlin. The trio became such a dominant offensive force for the Gophers that fans began calling them the ‘BMW’ line.
The Swedish Women’s National Team announced yesterday that they will not be participating in upcoming events as protest against the lack of support and funding they receive from their federation. Pension Plan Puppets covered that and more in their Women’s Hockey Wednesday column.
In a joint letter under the hashtag #FörFramtiden (for the future), players write that they want better conditions and better behaviour in order to carry on their ice hockey careers. Therefore, they have reached the decision in question. ”Many of us have belonged to the Damkronor for a long time. Future generations are competing to do the same. Many of us have borne in mind the frustration that led to today’s decision for several years. Now it’s about the younger generation not having to that.”
Former NHL goalie and noted taco enthusiast Eddie Lack announced his (temporary?) retirement from professional hockey yesterday. He’s been dealing with injuries and will coach at Arizona State University next season.
Alex Novet continued his series introducing an expected goals model that includes pre-shot movement. He released data for 2018-2019 yesterday.
Here we see some interesting results. The Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues were particularly good at getting good quality shots while limiting their opponents, as did the Lightning. The Boston Bruins are a class of their own on defense, giving their opponents the worst scoring opportunities on average. And the Anaheim Ducks were notably bad on both sides of the puck, emphasizing just how crucial John Gibson was to keeping them in games.
You like puppies? You like mascots? You like puppies and mascots? Well, have the Lightning ever got some content for you.