Could Riley Sheahan Be Pittsburgh-Bound?

With training camp now complete and the preseason underway, the Red Wings still find themselves in a cap crunch. GM Ken Holland has already stated that he expects to make a trade to become cap compliment. Andreas Athanasiou, still being an RFA and considering offers in Russia, is not making the situation any easier.

Well that trade could happen very soon and will likely involve Riley Sheahan. According to Elliotte Friedman’s “31 Thoughts” on Sportsnet, we could see a Sheahan for Derrek Pouliot swap with the Pittsburgh Penguins. It’s worth noting that Friedman sounds confident about Sheahan heading to Pittsburgh, but is more speculative that Pouliot will be the return.

Pouliot is a left-handed defenseman who was the 8th overall pick in the 2012 and is currently 23-years-old. He has amassed 70 points in 114 AHL games. Not bad at all, but his stats thus far in the NHL are concerning as he has only produced 14 points in 67 games. This seems like one of those cases where a change of scenery could benefit him.

As we all know, Sheahan went through a season long scoring drought that lasted 80 games (85 games including the playoffs the season before). He managed to score 2 goals in the final game of the season, including the final goal ever scored at Joe Louis Arena. However it is highly unlikely Sheahan repeats this scoring drought as he scored 14 goals the year prior.

Sheahan has certainly had an emotional impact, as we saw with him scoring the final goal at the Joe, and the tear jerking story told by The Athletic’s Craig Custance. From a cap perspective, though, this trade seems inevitable, especially involving Sheahan since we saw at last year’s trade deadline that several teams had interest him.