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: 

We asked our staff to chime in on what their “Trade Deadline Wishlist” is. 


What will the deadline look like for the Wings? This current run has all but secured their fate this season. Two losses to Columbus and more L’s to Washington and Minnesota before they even meet with Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Washington again. They’re sitting bottom of the east and likely playing the next 5-10 games without their top line winger Gus Nyquist. They’re almost guaranteed sellers this season so what would we love to see?

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.

Holland should be able to swing a 1st round pick for the rental in this weaker draft from a team who could really make a run against a declining Western Conference.

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.

This one is all dependent on the Leafs not posting their usual February collapse (which already looks well under way) but if they squeeze in Holland should look to dish Green for a prospect (Loov/Timashov/Soshnikov) and a 2nd round pick.

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.


I think acquiring prospects that have already shown what they are at the AHL level is better than acquiring draft picks, because picks are always more unknown. That is especially the case this season because it appears as if this is one of the weaker drafts in a few years. I think there are some prospects out there that the Red Wings could target, but we all know that Ken Holland doesn’t have the best trade history, so maybe it’s safer for me to hope that he’ll make the simple [Pending UFA] for [1-3 Rd. Draft Pick] + [B/C Prospect] Trade.
We’ve seen some irrational fans over the last month pray that the Red Wings won’t trade Thomas Vanek, when we all know that it’s going to happen and that it’s best for the team. I also want to see Brendan Smith get dealt and as long as Holland moves those two for a decent haul, I’ll be content. I think Vanek is almost guaranteed to bring back at least a First Round Pick after what he’s done through four and a half months and Smith should be able to fetch a Second Round Pick—I mean if Roman Polak can, then Smith assuredly can as well.
The Red Wings will need to stock up on draft picks because when it comes down to it, they may need to make a play for a top 3 pick. It just figures, the year they actually struggle is a weak draft and the year an expansion team moves into the top-3. They need to get one of Nolan Patrick, Nico Hischier or Timothy Liljegren and that starts at the trade deadline. Obviously it’d be nice if they could rid themselves of some of the terrible contracts, but I just don’t see that being feasible. 

It’s time to get busy Kenny, because your contract is up after next year and if you don’t get this speeding truck back on the road, then it will be your last.


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.

  • D-Boss

    There is zero chance this team trades Zetterberg. Not only does his contract have length that no reasonable team wants, the Red Wings are incredibly loyal to players like Z.

    I think moving Vanek and Smith are a given. Other than that, I’d be happy with the Wings freeing up some cap space for the next couple of years. Howie, Abby, Helm, Ericsson – whoever! Just releasing some of the tension on the cap would be a good start to fixing their dire situation.

    • The Grind Line

      you’re bang on. but I think it’s far more complicated than that. I don’t know how anyone would move Ericsson, Abdelkader’s contract is absurd. I think there could be buyers for Helm and Howie though, but I think we’re stuck with 8 and 52 until the end of time.

      At this point 52 just needs to go on waivers and go play in GR and we’ll eat the $3m or whatever it is while we rebuild.