2013-14 NHL Trade Deadline Feature: Detroit Red Wings

Written by Alex Paul and can be followed on twitter at @AKaserman1991

Sabres-deadlineWith the trade deadline quickly approaching, the Detroit Red Wings should be relatively quiet once again.

Before the Olympic freeze the Wings started to find a groove, going 3-1-1, and the regulation loss coming against Tampa. It seemed though at the time that every team chasing that 8th and final playoff spot, Columbus, Ottawa, Philadelphia, and Washington just could not lose. Detroit managed to follow suit and find themselves in the final spot, 6 points behind Toronto and Montreal, and 7 points behind Tampa.

The big problem thus far for Detroit is all of their injuries. Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Weiss, Franzen, and Howard have all missed significant time. As soon as one is about to return it seems like another one is going down. When the season started the LTIR was used just to get cap compliant because they were right at the threshold, and have been there all year. With all these big names out, it has given a chance for the young guys to come up a little prematurely for Detroit’s standards, but it looks like they will be just fine in the show.

So as the injuries continue to stack up, would it make sense for the Wings to make a big splash?

This team could use some help on the defensive end, a right handed top 4 defenseman is what is really needed. Brendan Smith has had games where he has looked very good and then games where he has looked very bad. Jakub Kindl has been just bad for the most part, which is shocking after how well he played in the playoffs last year. These guys are still young though and are learning, the expendable piece is Kyle Quincey. He has an expiring contract and could probably bring back a mid/late round pick, and we all know what the Wings have done with those in the past.

So who do they look to get when you have guys like Sproul, Oullet, Backman, Marchenko, and Almquist, do you make a trade for a rental? Most likely, all of those guys won’t pan out but they are so close to being ready. There are no defenders that are known to be available that it would make sense to include one of these guys in the deal. If the rumors that the Preds could make Shea Weber available this offseason, should Detroit make a run at him now? He would be the right handed, stud defenseman that the Wings need. Brian Campbell of Florida could be looked at as a veteran that can log big minutes and be solid in the defensive zone.

Now you read that and say there is no way the Preds trade Weber, but think about it. They are bad, well young and inexperienced, so they have to ask themselves if it makes more sense to get more talent for Weber or hang on to him and lose with him in his prime. Detroit could offer up Backman, Marchenko, plus pick(s). Two highly thought of defensive prospects and picks for Weber. There are also forwards that could be included. I just think the trade makes more sense than people think. The Wings would just need to get rid of some cap space first, or have Nashville take on some of the expiring contracts the Wings have.

As for the forwards, it has been the revolving door to the LTIR. After the break is over, everyone is supposed to be back with the exception of Henrik Zetterberg. While Weiss was a disappointment to start the season, he can’t get any worse right? Another depth player is not what this team needs, they have plenty of 4th line guys and the kids (Tatar, Sheahan, Jurco) have solidified the third line.

The excitement that would come with bringing in a guy like Vanek or Gaborik, it doesn’t make sense to get rid of a key prospect or two and potentially the highest pick Detroit has had in years.

It needs to be accepted that replacing a player like Zetterberg is impossible at the trade deadline, almost impossible during free agency because these guys never get there.

There are players that if I am Detroit I would make available, and could have teams like the Islanders and Oilers foaming at the mouth. The first is Jimmy Howard. Yeah Yeah he just signed his extension, carried the team last year, and is having a down year, so what is his real value? His real value is a starting goalie capable of playing every night and a team friendly contract. He is signed through 2018 with a $5.2 million cap hit. With what Gustavsson has done this season and with Mrazek waiting in the minors, Ken Holland should explore this. If they can get a guarantee from Vanek that he will resign, do they look to trade Howard for Vanek? A team who has needed a goalie for how long now would finally get a proven NHL goalie. Or do the Wings call up the Oilers and try to bring in another young gun?

The other player is Johan Franzen. He has a friendly $4 million cap hit, but it is one of those nasty long contracts. He does hold value being a big goal scoring power forward, and has always shown up come playoff time. If he does not get traded then I could see the Wings buying him out this off season.

After placing Zetterberg on the LTIR and activating Weiss, Detroit has about $2.9 million in cap space.

There just are many players that would help Detroit that are available. I think the youth movement is here for the Wings and thus far looks very promising. The only way I see a big trade being made is if it involves Franzen, Quincey, lesser but still intriguing prospects like Ferraro or Athanasiou, or draft picks. There just is not much cap space to work with, so some of an acquired contract would have to be eaten and that would drive the price up a little more. The Wings do have a ton of prospects, who cannot all be called up or retained, so I do think a trade will be made at some point, but just not at the trade deadline; at least for a big name.

The fact that there are more buyers than sellers means the price for players will be at a premium, and that is why I don’t think Detroit will make a big trade. I do think it is a guarantee that Vanek is traded, but he will go to the highest bidder and I’m unsure what the Isles expect in return. Now could Detroit make a smaller trade like for Legwand or Cammalleri, yeah possibly but I do not think it would help much or be smart.

Being a wings fan for life, for the first time, before this season started I said I was more excited for next season already. The wings clear a ton of cap space losing Alfie, Cleary, Bert, Quincey, Sammy, and Eaves. They will have over $21 million in cap space with only DeKeyser, Tatar, and Sheahan as guys the must be resigned. I never thought we would get to see Jurco and Sheahan this year but they are proving why I was more excited for next season.

Player GP G A P +/- PIM PP SH GW S S%
Henrik Zetterberg 45 16 32 48 19 20 3 0 1 151 10.6
Niklas Kronwall 56 6 30 36 3 38 4 0 0 80 7.5
Daniel Alfredsson 46 14 21 35 3 10 4 0 1 111 12.6
Pavel Datsyuk 37 15 18 33 -4 6 5 0 2 108 13.9
Gustav Nyquist 33 14 10 24 4 8 3 0 3 84 16.7
Tomas Tatar 49 13 11 24 5 12 2 0 3 112 11.6
Johan Franzen 31 9 14 23 6 22 4 0 3 79 11.4
Justin Abdelkader 53 8 15 23 7 27 1 0 2 124 6.5
Brendan Smith 47 1 12 13 -4 48 0 0 0 54 1.9
Joakim Andersson 52 7 6 13 -9 10 0 0 1 57 12.3
Darren Helm 26 7 5 12 2 6 1 1 2 52 13.5
Danny DeKeyser 42 3 9 12 4 24 1 1 0 52 5.8
Todd Bertuzzi 44 6 5 11 -16 34 4 0 0 64 9.4
Drew Miller 58 6 5 11 -5 21 0 0 1 88 6.8
Jakub Kindl 50 1 10 11 -11 22 0 0 0 78 1.3
Riley Sheahan 18 3 8 11 2 0 1 0 1 20 15
Jonathan Ericsson 38 1 8 9 9 30 0 0 0 54 1.9
Kyle Quincey 58 3 6 9 -8 66 0 0 0 80 3.8
Daniel Cleary 52 4 4 8 -11 31 0 0 1 64 6.3
Tomas Jurco 19 3 4 7 0 10 0 0 0 36 8.3
Patrick Eaves 25 2 3 5 -4 2 1 0 0 51 3.9
Stephen Weiss 26 2 2 4 -4 12 0 0 1 28 7.1
Brian Lashoff 52 1 3 4 0 22 0 0 0 29 3.4
Luke Glendening 33 0 4 4 -7 6 0 0 0 31 0
Mikael Samuelsson 26 1 2 3 -4 6 0 0 0 36 2.8
Cory Emmerton 11 0 2 2 -1 4 0 0 0 16 0
Jordin Tootoo 10 0 1 1 -3 5 0 0 0 10 0
Adam Almquist 2 1 0 1 -1 0 0 0 0 2 50
Alexey Marchenko 1 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0
Xavier Ouellet 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Jimmy Howard 34 33 1967 2.65 12 13 9 2 1007 87 0.914
Jonas Gustavsson 22 21 1248 2.55 13 4 3 0 594 53 0.911
Petr Mrazek 7 4 329 1.64 1 3 0 1 118 9 0.924


  1. hankbemis

    February 24, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    there is no chance the wings are getting rid of howard now or anytime soon. the same goes for weiss on the amnesty buyout this summer. the wings aren’t going to pay $5m for one shortened-by-hernia season of a 5 year contract and then bail. and same thing for franzen – if he’s healthy, he’ll play for the wings, if he’s still got the headaches, he’s ineligible for an amnesty buyout.

    although I suppose it is possible that the wings trade bertuzzi, samuelsson, and some of their best young players in detroit and grand rapids for shea weber (in order for the wings to be cap compliant), but i don’t think that’s very likely for several reasons, the top being the amount of prospects it would take to land weber.

    quincey is expendable, not expandable 😉 if you want your writing to sound more professional and frankly more bearable, take out the “I mean” and “Yeah Yeah” and “well”, they make you sound like a valley girl. you’re not having a conversation, you’re writing an article. also this sentence is contradictory, therefore doesn’t make sense:

    The excitement that would come with bringing in a guy like Vanek or Gaborik, it doesn’t make sense to get rid of a key prospect or two and potentially the highest pick Detroit has had in years.

    not trying to be a dick, just wish this were a better written article, mostly because i can’t stand bleacher report and this site keeps me away from it. and yes, i know the site manager was not the author.

    • hankpenis

      February 26, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      Good morning Hank,

      This comment is regarding your overwhelming negativity. Is it because you think that your better than people that you feel the need to criticize, put down and prove how right you are? You said “not trying to be a dick” which confused me at first, until I had this mind blowing moment when I realized, you don’t have to try Hank! You’re just that good at it. With that being said I’m going to go ahead and call it a day on here.
      Adios Hank!

  2. steve

    February 24, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    can’t buy out weiss he was signed as free agent after CBA

  3. hankbemis

    February 27, 2014 at 11:06 am

    dear hank penis,

    If you don’t want your writing to be critiqued, first of all don’t publish your writing, secondly don’t put it on a public forum. My comments were meant to help you as a writer, not make you upset. When it comes down to it, you are the dick. You write a sentence that makes no sense in an overall poorly written article, then can’t handle it and go into defensive attack mode when someone calls you out on it. Also, I think it’s worth noting you rewrote this article after my comment.

    good point steve about the new contracts after the new CBA, I didn’t realize that.

  4. Mark Easson

    February 27, 2014 at 11:12 am

    The article wasn’t re-written, was lost and re-posted after site issues.

    I corrected the use of the wrong word. Me, as the editor, missed it. Only other change was his twitter handle. That was all that was changed.

  5. hankbemis

    February 27, 2014 at 11:47 am

    that, and “I mean” was removed.

    I didn’t see the “bloggers, journalism students and first-time writers” the first time it was posted. My comment would’ve been slightly different knowing this.

  6. Parminder Grewal

    February 27, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Hello sir,
    I believe that they should sign a player more like bolland, Giordano or possibly even St. Louis. Trading Franzen doesn’t seem like the brightest idea as they are already weak in the power plays, they should look toward trading Kyle Quincey for a more experienced and talented defencemen.

  7. Curt W

    February 28, 2014 at 4:17 am

    They can’t buy out Weiss cause he was signed after the new bargaining agreement. And franzen’s 4M cap hit id rather keep, good price for a constant 25+ goal scorer. If they can’t trade tootoo by the deadline they’ll buy out his last year.
    They won’t trade Howard. If anything I could see them freeing an extra $1M by trading gustavson n bringing mrazek up. Samuelson might accept a trade just to play on an NHL team just to try n get a contract next year.
    I could see something more in offseason, like maybe for Kesler! That’d add secondary scoring and grit and 2way plus penalty kill. Unless they can somehow get rid of the Samuelson contract and quincey/eaves/tootoo/bertuzzi..
    So maybe dump Samuelson contract, 1st round pick, joakim Anderson, Landon Ferraro for Kesler? That’d get rid of $3.7M than if they can trade Eaves/miller for a late pick that’d free up enough

  8. hankbemis

    February 28, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    I like your take on it curt. I think one thing you missed is the possibility of legwand to detroit before the trade deadline, which has been circulating lately. legwand also seemed to show frustration with nashville not having attempted to even talk to him about a contract, especially during a career season. in general gus (monster) would be a great trade piece for the wings but nashville doesn’t need him. they are in the playoff race plus rinne coming back so sending them for instance sammy and bert (+ pick or prospect) for legwand is probably unlikely, but on the bright side would give them about double the cap space to sign UFAs with this offseason. however, the wings are deep at center, and a legwand deal IMO would all but require the wings to move a prospect in return. you mentioned andersson. The wings seemed so high on him with his oft-talked about “high hockey IQ”, I figured there was little chance but he’d be moved. with him playing wing lately I think he is less likely to be moved. I really don’t see sheahan, glendening or helm going anywhere either. i agree tootoo gets bought out. i think cleary retires, bert, sammy, and eaves try to sign with another team, and alfie resigns with the wings.

    i think the preds have to trade legwand, with his career year and expiring contract, they might as well grab some worth now. I think he’s a good chance to sign with detroit next year if nashville messes up and lets him hit the market. the problem is paying a 3rd line center 5 million, which is what will happen with either weiss or legwand (who could demand even more).

  9. steve

    February 28, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    couldn’t agree more curt. Franzens contract is far to cap friendly to part with especially for a 25 goal scorer who can start binge scoring at anytime in particular the playoffs. I also agree no way or no need to trade Howard, so what he’s having a bad year but Gustafsson has been the best backup in the entire league so it hasn’t hurt us as bad as it could and i believe that Howards body of work over the last few years earns him the right to bounce back which I believe he can come playoff time. I agree a gritty forward would be a nice addition and i know peole won’t agree with me on this point but i believe during the last ten games and into playoffs we will see Cleary and Burtuzzi show why the wings see value in these players and contribute as they have in the past. Also getting Wiess back healthy and maybe him viewing it as such would be the same thing as getting that piece at the deadline. With that said if the red wings are open to bringing in a player they should be focusing on mike cammelerri as he would be an ideal fit to play with Datsyuk this is a highly skilled player with a shoot first mentality that could do serious damage receiving passes from the magic man

  10. Parminder Grewal

    March 2, 2014 at 11:23 am

    The Red Wings should make offers to the Florida Panthers for Dmitri Kulikov before a team the the Maple Leafs grab him, he may also be willing to re-sign with the wings and will be glad to play with his former teammate; Stephan Weiss. Also in trade we can give Smith and Eaves. Kulikov being only 23 could be a great player to sign a long term contract with as well.

  11. hankbemis

    March 2, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    I can see the wings going after kulikov (though I think there are a couple above him on their list, like erhoff, and they’ve been scouting phoenix for a while now, so maybe annual thing with yandle?? but he costs a bit and would take a little cap maneuvering. i don’t see the wings moving smith, but stranger things have happened. eaves, for sure. I think sammy as well, as $3m coming off the books could be attractive for a rebuilder. i don’t think they’ll send bert or cleary anywhere. quincey, at almost $4m thru just this season, seems like another one. fla has plenty of room if they want to take on expiring contracts, but I think they’ll want prospects instead. but maybe they aren’t high on kulikov OR don’t think he’ll resign. in that case, wings could land him for a pretty decent deal. i’d be surprised if the panth didn’t want to resign him though, and keep a nice youth core.

  12. Bobby

    March 2, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    This is such a terrible article. Trading Howard for Vanek? Who would be the Wings starter? Gustavsson who gets hurt every 3 games that he plays? Mrazek who has what 4 games of NHL experience? Franzen is inconsistent but he does score at least 25 goals every year which makes his cap hit worth the $3.9 mill so I wish people would get over the idea of buying him out. They are buying out totoo this summer and that’s it.