February 14 2017 03:20PM
The March 1st trade deadline is only two weeks and a day away and the Red Wings are bound to be sellers for the first time in over two decades. The wheels have fallen off and the Red Wings have four Unrestricted Free Agents and a few others who’s contracts carry into next season that are expected to be “on the block.”
For a list of Red Wings, who could be traded in the next two weeks, be sure to check out our Trade Block Series:
Thomas Vanek (Brock Seguin)
Tomas Jurco (Nick Seguin)
Brendan Smith (Sam Blazer)
Steve Ott (Nick Seguin)
Tomas Tatar (Sam Blazer)
Petr Mrazek (Sam Blazer)
Gustav Nyquist (Nick Seguin)
Mike Green (Sam Blazer)
We asked our staff to chime in on what their “Trade Deadline Wishlist” is.
Vanek to the Kings
The Kings love deadline deals as they’re a ‘window closing’ team. They dished a 1st for a Sekera rental, two 2nds for Gaborik in their last cup run, two 2nds for Regehr in 2013. What I’m saying here is they have no aversion to dishing picks and that is exactly what the Wings need. LA currently has all their 2017 draft picks and a desperate need for top-six scoring. Vanek’s 36 points in 43 games could look attractive to the Kings alongside his large frame and ability to make space for quicker players (Toffoli, Pearson, Carter) and relieve some of the load Kopitar has been forced to shoulder this season with his weaker linemates.
Mike Green to the Leafs
There’s no team in the NHL more attractive to trade with than the Leafs. From trading away both the Luongo and Rask picks as well as Tyler Seguin, there’s no reason not to give them a ring. Twitter thinks they’re ready to compete and a weaker Atlantic division has the money hungry suits who own the team salivating at playoff fantasies. “Potentially two rounds before we could see a Metro team? Sure Lou, trade for Zajac or whatever”. The Leafs are loaded with picks (three 2nd rounder’s) and are quickly going to be overloaded with prospects at this rate. They have a bunch of pieces on the Marlies that seemingly cannot fit onto the Leafs roster anytime soon and are primed for being traded. Their defence is terrible especially on the right side and with Babcock trying to make Rielly a well-rounded player they have an opening on that PP unit for a good QB other than Gardiner. They also have the cap room next season to not worry about Green’s 6M cap hit for one more year.
Jurco to anyone
Free the kid, give him a legitimate shot in a top-six somewhere and stop grinding his ego into dust as Sheahan, Ott or Miller draw into lineups ahead of him. Get a 2nd rounder in this weak draft or even a 3rd from a team like Carolina or Vancouver and let everyone get on with their careers.
My trade deadline wish would be for the Wings to trade Henrik Zetterberg. I don't know if there's a taker out there who's silly enough to trade for an aging vet with far too many years left on his deal, but in the long-term future of this wings team it looks like he'll be retired quite a while before this team becomes competitive again. Furthermore, though he's a team legend, he deserves a shot elsewhere to finish off his career.
The ideal trade deadline for the Wings would be for them to accept that they are now in a rebuild, and offload as many of their veterans as they can in exchange for picks and prospects while they still have value. Whether it's the veterans that half of Wings fans have already traded in Vanek or Smith, or some more unexpected players like Zetterberg, Abdelkader, or DeKeyser, it should be the Wings goal to get rid of as many of their crappy contracts as possible, and get the best return possible. But, this is Ken Holland. He'll probably see the seven point gap, think that the team is still good, and give the Leafs their third round pick back for Roman Polak.
The best trade deadline the Wings can hope for would involve getting rid of any players that have longer than a five year contract on the team. The window has closed and the rebuild needs to start around the core they currently have. That means centering the team around Mantha, Athanasiou and Larkin. It's not the strongest core but other teams have started with worse. It ensures a couple of bad seasons but allows for ultimate flexibility once the team is able to compete again. Why keep Zetterberg around if they aren't going to win a Cup in his remaining years. He'll land on his feet and the value surrounding him is still relatively high. Holding onto pieces and hoping they magically gain value is a continued problem for sports teams. Once you recognize a players peak, adjust expectations accordingly to build your team. They have a slew of veterans that need to be traded. Competing within the next five years starts with trading them.