In just three short weeks, the NHL trade deadline will be underway. Whether it remains as spirited as it’s been in the past or more conservative remains to be seen. No matter the market, the Detroit Red Wings have come prepared. From long-term veterans to surprisingly sound goaltending, Detroit has more than enough bargaining chips at their disposal to make a splash. Securing future assets and staying the course for the rebuild will be key. This trade deadline is no exception as teams look to make their final playoff pushes before the season rounds out.
Detroit Red Wings Trade Deadline Candidates
If a player is traded to another team, they need to spend at least two weeks in quarantine before they can play, per the NHL’s COVID-19 safety protocols. This may lead to a variety of teams jumping the gun early on securing their deadline pieces. It wouldn’t be a shock to see teams starting their trades as early as next week. General manager Steve Yzerman, however, is renowned for his conservative, play-it-safe approach to trades. He’ll bide his time until he knows he can secure a solid return on his investment. If the Red Wings trade deadline moves start before the actual deadline, it’s safe to say another team was prepared to pay high for an asset. This deadline’s unique environment is an ideal scenario for the Red Wings.
While it’s unlikely that everyone on this list will be traded, it’s safe to assume that some will make the mark. These are just a few players that could find new homes in three weeks:
Luke Glendening’s name has been floating around as a candidate for months. The fourth-line center has playoffs written all over him. He leads the league in faceoff win percentage. He’s a workhorse on the penalty kill. He’s an alternate captain with a reputation for strong, sound leadership. Plus, he’s just got a year left on his contract at an affordable $1.5M. While he won’t leap off the scoresheet, he’s exactly what any would-be Cup champion needs: stability. Glendening won’t fetch much higher than a 3rd round pick, but his presence in any locker room will certainly serve as a boon for playoff contenders.
In the last 101 Red Wings games, Jonathan Bernier has started 56 of them, winning 23. Every other goalie that played started 45 times and won only three times. Bernier has a +4.51 goals save percentage over the span of 56 games with the Red Wings. He is an outstanding goaltender, able to steal games against juggernauts like the Tampa Bay Lightning. With a strong enough surrounding cast, he could serve as a wonderful 1B or a backup for any team in need of goaltending assistance. Bernier is the key to securing high picks and prospects. If a playoff team’s starter goes down for the season, or if their goaltending is lackluster at best, Bernier has the potential to net quite a nice return.
Another name that’s floated around the trade sphere for months has been former Ottawa Senator Bobby Ryan. Ryan has had somewhat of a resurgence with the Red Wings, sitting fourth on the team with 13 points in 28 games. He’s been described for years as an incredible veteran presence for young players. If recent interviews with Ryan and other players are evidence enough, Ryan is beloved in the locker room. A change of scenery could see Ryan playing a depth role on a young contending team. Could the Toronto Maple Leafs use a guy like Ryan to bolster the locker room morale? For a 2nd round pick or a prospect like, say, Timothy Liljegren, Yzerman could find a solution.
Recently acquired from the New York Rangers, Staal could see himself out as early as next week if a team is on the hunt for veteran defencemen. Judging by the Philadelphia Flyers’ ugly 9-0 loss to the Rangers, it would seem more likely than not that Staal is moved. Staal’s pairing with Troy Stecher has, surprisingly, been one of the most productive pairings in the NHL this season. Whether that’s due to a resurgence from Staal (it isn’t) or Stetcher carrying his pairing (more than likely), it’s bolstered the former Rangers’ numbers. Teams like the Boston Bruins have been mentioned in trade talks for Staal — though it’s less than likely that he’ll net anything more than a 4th or 5th round at most.
Okay, okay, before you get your pitchforks out, hear me out. It’s highly unlikely that Mantha is traded. If he is, it would take significant overpayment. The 27-year-old seems to be getting back to shape, with four points in his last three games. If — and again, this is an if — Mantha is traded this season, it will be for a steep overpayment. We’re talking Jake Bean plus a 1st round pick overpayment. It’s important to note how unusual this season has been. Patrik Laine was traded. Taylor Hall is playing some of the worst hockey he’s played in years. Drew Doughty is having a renaissance season. Could Mantha have a new home by the end of the season? Anything is possible in a league that keeps hiring Brian Burke. The Detroit Red Wings trade deadline moves will certainly be something to watch.
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