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The trade deadline is upon us! A week from now, we’ll surely be losing our minds after a few teams lose their assets in hopes of getting closer to the Stanley Cup. The Red Wings, as usual, are in a position where they could buy if they felt it to be the right decision. Here’s how everything stacks up heading into next Monday.
Areas Of Need
Certainly, the most glaring spot for the Red Wings to improve in is on defence. Obviously, management won’t be impossibly trying to find the next Niklas Lidstrom, but with a different Niklas still out after his knee scope procedure, it only makes sense for Detroit to target an improvement or two in what is already an iffy position for them.
One could also say that “cap space” is a need for the team as well; rumours are swirling that the ceiling might come down, and with Petr Mrazek, Danny DeKeyser, and Darren Helm leading the way for necessary raises, the team will absolutely need to shed some space going into July. If the right opportunity is there, this might be the time to start that initiative.
Unfortunately, this seems to be a weak market for defencemen. Dion Phaneuf, who the Red Wings pursued last season, has already headed to Ottawa. Travis Hamonic would like to head to Canada for personal reasons. Dan Hamhuis has been gossiped to be hesitant to waive his no-trade clause. Kevin Shattenkirk isn’t far off from needing his own big raise. You can go up and down the list, but the upper tier is pretty closed off. The mid-tier might be more fruitful, but that’s something we’ll discuss throughout the week.
The Red Wings are in bad shape for the year ahead, but there’s still a little bit of wiggle room to work with. NHL Numbers projects the team at 1.337M in immediate cap space; pro-rated, they can take in approximately $4.2 million in direct assets.
Being the Detroit Red Wings, there are obviously a ton of mid-tier prospects that are just a bit of development away from being freak studs; if the team chooses to go that path. Alternatively, they could be used as chips in trades. Players like Tomas Nosek, Martin Frk, and Jared Coreau could be attractive options for rebuilding teams who see their schedule as more advanced than the typical Motown Patience Cycle. Anthony Mantha could be at play too if you believe in the speculation that was floated at the end of last season. The Wings also have most of their draft picks in their possession, missing only their 2016 3rd from the Marek Zidlicky deal last year.