Re-signed Adam Erne looks to 'pick up where I left off' after career year with Red Wings
Detroit — Sometimes contract negotiations can be difficult and frustrating, but it doesn't sound like Adam Erne's dealings with the Red Wings this summer were anything like that.
Erne and the Wings settled on a two-year contract Sunday worth $4.2 million ($2.1 million salary cap hit).
Erne, 26, a restricted free agent with salary arbitration rights, filed for arbitration with the case scheduled to have been heard Saturday.
But the two sides were able to work something out long before the hearing was to take place.
"We just talked a few times this summer and it's a process, and (the deal) wasn't done yet, so we had to file for arbitration," Erne said Monday during a Zoom call with reporters. "We were able to find number that both of us were happy with, and that's pretty much it.
"It wasn't anything crazy."
The two-year contract takes Erne into unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2023.
Erne was pleased to have the security of the second year of the contract.
"It all depends on numerous factors (on the player's and team's situations)," Erne said of getting the second year. "But it's definitely nice to have two years, for sure."
The Wings were able to avoid arbitration with all three players — Erne, Tyler Bertuzzi, Jakub Vrana — who were eligible for salary arbitration.
Both team and player, generally, want to avoid the process whenever possible, and Erne was no exception.
"It's a business and I don't think anyone takes that stuff personally; I don't," Erne said. "Everybody has a job to do, and I'm happy we were able to settle when we did."
Erne had a breakthrough, career-best season during the shortened 2020-21 schedule.
Erne led the Wings with 11 goals, and had nine assists, good for 20 points in 45 games. The 20 points tied Erne's career-high set in 2018-19 with Tampa Bay over 65 games.
Erne's three power-play goals tied for the Wings' team lead, and he led the Wings with 82 credited hits, and posted the Wings' longest point streak of the season, spanning eight games (from April 1-15).
Coach Jeff Blashill often credited Erne with taking advantage of opportunities, through determination and perseverance.
“He was on the power play a bit last year and made a few mistakes and got taken off,” Blashill said during the season. “This year he earned it in practice. He was subbing in for somebody and he seemed to be doing a good job. We put him on and he did a good job time after time.
“That’s the essence of grabbing it. … He’s earned any of the opportunities he’s gotten. He’s had to earn his ice time, I haven’t given it to him.
“He’s earned more and more ice time as we’ve gone along. He’s got on the power play as guys were out and he did a good job with it, so he stayed on the power play and he’s earned it.”
Erne stayed ready, waited for his chance, and capitalized.
"(It's about) being able to do something with the opportunity when you get it," Erne said. "Luckily I was prepared for that and I was able to do that, so it felt good to have a year like that.
"Hopefully next year, I can pick up where I left off."
Erne also is optimistic the Wings can continue the progress they showed this season, thanks to influx of talent acquired by general manager Steve Yzerman.
"Every year that goes by, we're a young team that's getting a little older, and guys getting experience," Erne said. "Guys (have been brought in) with tons of experience, veteran guys, and we're getting closer.
"We're going to be a good team next year."
The Wings signed goaltender Sebastian Cossa, the team's second first-round pick in July's NHL Entry Draft, to a three-year entry-level contract.
Cossa, 18, was drafted by the Red Wings after the team packaged three picks to acquire the 15th overall pick from Dallas to select the 6-foot-6, 210-pound goalie.
Cossa had a dominant Western Hockey League season with the Edmonton Oil Kings in 2020-21, leading the junior league in both goals-against average (1.57) and save percentage (0.941), while tying for the league lead in shutouts (four) and ranking second in wins (17) among his 17-1-1 record.
Cossa is expected to return to Edmonton next season.
Tickets for all preseason and regular-season home games at Little Caesars Arena will go on sale 10 a.m. Friday. Fans can sign up for the single-game ticket presale list to have an opportunity to purchase tickets before the general public by visiting DetroitRedWings.com/Presale.
The Wings open the regular season Oct. 14 at LCA against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning at 7:30 p.m.