Mark it on your calendar because the NHL trade deadline will have arrived and the Detroit Red Wings are open for business. Trade talks have already started, and everyone not named Andreas Athanasiou, Dylan Larkin, and Anthony Mantha are on the table. Does this mean it’s going to be a complete fire sale? Unlikely with all the bad contracts, but some cap-shedding, rental sell-offs, and bringing in draft picks would be a major success. Here’s what we could expect:
The big fish for the Wings. Green will be of interest to many teams with his right-hand shot, veteran experience, and high demand in defensemen rentals. Reports that Erik Gudbranson is no longer available make Jack Johnson his only competitor (Ryan McDonagh is an option, but he has term). Some of the teams in the mix for Green’s services include Tampa Bay, Toronto, Washington, and Vegas. A Green reunion in the nation’s capital seems to be the most likely. Green does have a NTC, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him waive it, with already having an established relationship with the franchise, as well as purchasing a house in DC. His former teammates are interested as well. “It’s nice he would be back with Washington,” Said Capitals star Alex Ovechkin.
The belief is he’ll fetch a 2nd round pick, which is where the Caps come in again. They hold the Florida Panthers 2018 2nd round pick (which will be in the range of pick 33-40). I would propose Green (50% salary retained) to Washington, for the Panthers 2018 2nd with a condition (if the Capitals make it to the third round/Stanley Cup Finals of the playoffs, and Green plays X amount of games, it becomes a Washington 2018 1st. If not, it remains the Panthers 2nd) and Brett Connolly (for cap reasons, but he can immediately be flipped for a late round pick). This is just one idea, but some tweaks to it, and this could be Green’s landing spot.
Jimmy Howard/Petr Mrazek
A good old Red Wings goaltender controversy! We could see one or the other moved, neither moved, or both moved. This one is really up in the air, especially with a small market for goalies right now. The two most rumored teams in the hunt for a net-minder are the Chicago Blackhawks and New York Islanders. If I was the general manager, I’d attempt to move Howard first. He’s been the better goaltender, but he’s making a good amount of money compared to Mrazek, and is older. However, if no teams are interested in the Syracuse, New York native, then I wouldn’t hesitate to move Petr. The bottom line is, one has to be moved, so the other can be the bonafide number one next season. If you can get a 2nd for either of them, that’s a win, but I wouldn’t expect it.
Xavier Ouellet/Nick Jensen
Ouellet is certainly gone after the deadline. He’s unable to get into the lineup, and at this point is just taking away cap space and a roster spot. The Winnipeg Jets are looking for a left-handed defenseman, and he could be the answer. A 4th round pick in return is best case scenario, so make sure you’re sitting down when this blockbuster happens. As for Jensen, the Wings may retain him, but I think moving on is the best option. The Pittsburgh Penguins showed last year blue-line depth is essential for a long playoff run, add in his right-hand shot and teams will definitely come calling. Same with Ouellet, a 4th rounder would be a pipe dream.
Gustav Nyquist/Tomas Tatar
Rumors with these two have been circulating for a while. While they’ll be shopped, it’s unlikely they get moved. There are better non-rental wingers available such as Mike Hoffman and Max Paciotetty. Teams will also be reluctant to acquire a player with term, to have a chance at the John Tavares sweepstakes. Nyquist having a NTC doesn’t make it any easier also. If something does materialize out of nowhere, Tatar should be the one to go. The Wings can still move Nyquist at next year’s deadline as a rental, and if not, can still let him walk and get his contract off the books sooner. With Tatar, he’s making more money, but most importantly he has some sort of NTC kick in following this season for the remainder of his contract. Get out of his contract now, before you are handcuffed by him for the next three years.
Anyone with a bad contract
Just to clarify, this includes Justin Abdelkader, Trevor Daley, Danny DeKeyser, Jonathan Ericsson, Luke Glendening, Darren Helm, Nik Kronwall, and Frans Nielsen *breathes*. The horrifying part is all the aforementioned names (except Glendening) has a NTC or NMC. So it’s gonna have to take some wizardry here. If one of the NTC or NMC contracts of this list is moved, that’s a sucess. A B+ prospect would most likely have to go along in a deal, but bottom line is, none will get moved. Daley, Glendening, and Helm have been thrown around as possible targets of other teams, but I wouldn’t bet on it. This is another situation where Tavares hitting the open market and the 2019 free-agent super-class, affects teams from acquiring players terms.