We're T-minus 1 day from the NHL's trade deadline, and there have already been a number of deals, ranging from the mundane (anyone for a draft pick) to the surprising (Alex Goligoski for James Neal and Matt Niskanen) to the pseudo-blockbuster (Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk for Erik Johnson and Jay McClement). So far, the Wings have been silent, although an 0-2-0 homestand in which the team looked less-than-stellar has a few people clamouring for a move to be made.
As of this writing, the Red Wings had still not made any moves, choosing to stand pat and let the injured players come back. It remains to be seen whether the Wings will bring anyone in, as their cap space is extremely limited and in a salary cap world, trading away all your draft picks and/or prospects is not a recipe for sustained success. This was not always the case, and after winning 2 straight Stanley Cups, the Wings did not hesitate to try and maintain their position as the best in the NHL. Follow the jump to see the rest of the deals the Wings have made in the second half of their playoff streak.
On Friday, we took a look at the trades the Wings made from the 1990-91 to 1997-98. At this point, the Wings were back-to-back Stanley Cup champions, and they were motoring along, trying for the three-peat. Let's see how the Wings did from then until now.
Season Result: Lost to Colorado Avalance in Conference Semi-Finals.
Trade: Chris Chelios acquired from Chicago for Anders Eriksson, a 1999 1st round draft pick (Steve McCarthy) and a 2001 1st round draft pick (Adam Munro).
Impact: Kind of a big deal, eh? Chelios, who at one time said he would never play for the Red Wings, was traded from the Blackhawks to their most hated rival. Chelios was still one of the top defenseman in the game, although he was starting to lose a step. The Wings' defense at the time was older, as evidenced by the departure or retirement of Jamie Macoun, Larry Murphy and Bob Rouse within a couple of years. This was one of those trades where you knew what the Wings were getting: a bonafide star defenseman. The only question was how good the Hawks would make out on their end (that sound you hear is stifled laughter). Eriksson lived up to his last name by being fairly forgettable over the course of his career, shuffling from team to team. Neither McCarthy nor Munro did anything befitting a 5th round draft pick, let alone two 1sts. Chelios went on to play 10 years with the Wings, win 2 Cups, and is currently working in their front office. This was a huge trade.
Trade: Ulf Samuelsson acquired from New York Rangers for a 1999 2nd round draft pick (David Inman) and a 2000 3rd round draft pick (Igor Radulov).
Impact: Mostly minimal. The-Man-Who-Broke-Cam-Neely was another defensive depth acquisition, in what was a year in which the Wings went for broke. Samuelsson was towards the end of his career, and his declining skills were noticeable. Gone was the reckless abandon that defined his career, and he was shipped off to Atlanta after the season was over. Neither Inman nor Radulov (older brother of Alex Radulov) did anything special, so the trade was pretty much a wash.
Trade: Wendel Clark and a 1999 6th round draft pick (Kent McDonell) acquired from Tampa Bay for Kevin Hodson and a 1999 2nd round draft pick (Sheldon Keefe).
Impact: There are two things all Maple Leaf fans have in common: they love Wendel Clark, and they hate the Red Wings. You can imagine the glee I had calling all of my friends to laugh at them after this trade. For those that are not aware, Wendel Clark was a hero among Maple Leaf fans: I'm trying to think of an equivalent on the Wings, and the closest I can think of in terms of pure adulation is Yzerman. When he was traded away from the Leafs, fans in Toronto were devastated. When he became a Wing, the city went on suicide watch. It was awesome for me, a Wing fan living among the enemy, and I let them all know. Unfortunately, Clark did virtually nothing in a Wing uniform, giving me yet another reason to dislike him (while secretly liking him, because he was full of heart and determination, and I can respect that).
Trade: Bill Ranford acquired from Tampa Bay for a 1999 conditional draft pick.
Impact: This was pretty minimal overall. The Wings had already traded away their backup goalie, and the other goalie on the roster was Norm Maracle, hardly a name that inspired confidence going into the playoffs. The Wings traded for 1990 Conn Smythe winner Ranford (and the goalie who is behind a specific "call" by me and my brother that we yell out after a spectacular glove save). Like most of the moves the Wings made in 1999, Ranford had very little impact on the team, playing only 4 games in the regular season and 4 in the playoffs before finishing his career with the Oilers the next year.
Season Result: Lost to Colorado Avalanche in Conference Semi-Finals.
Trade: Todd Gill acquired from Phoenix Coyotes for Phillipe Audet.
Impact: It was at this point that I began to wonder what it was about former Maple Leafs that had the Red Wings braintrust all hot and bothered. I guess they figured they had hit the jackpot with Larry Murphy and Jamie Macoun, so why wouldn't Todd Gill work out? Gill had been with the Wings the previous season when he was plucked from waivers from the Blues. He sighed with Phoenix, but the Wings missed him so much that they brought him back at the deadline. However, he scored a grand total of 13 points over the next season-plus, and never had much impact on the Wings. Audet never played an NHL game after being traded.
Season Result: Lost to Los Angeles Kings in Conference Quarter-Finals
Season Result: Won Stanley Cup.
Trade: Jiri Slegr acquired from Atlanta for Yuri Butsayev and a 2002 3rd round draft pick (Jeff Genovy).
Impact: Slegr was a former Penguin who had found his way to Atlanta and continued to be a steady defenseman who could score more than the average blueliner. The 2002 team was so stacked that the Wings really didn't need much, but they were a little thin on the back end, and you can never have too many defenseman. Slegr had little impact on the Wings, although he did get to play in the Finals after the suspension to Jiri Fischer. Butsayev was a 2nd round draft pick who never developed the way the Wings thought he was going to. I remember him being on a lot of "Hot Prospects" lists in the early '00s for the Wings, but after failing to do anything memorable at the NHL level in multiple stints, he was shipped to Atlanta. He never played more than 16 games in an NHL season after that.
Season Result: Lost to Anaheim Ducks in Conference Quarter-Finals.
Trade: Mathieu Schneider acquired from Los Angeles Kings for Sean Avery, Maxim Kuznetsov, a 2003 1st round pick (Jeff Tambellini) and a 2004 2nd round draft pick (Martins Karsums).
Impact: This definitely qualifies as one of the bigger trades the Wings have made near the deadline since their playoff streak began. This trade was similar to the Chelios deal from 3 years prior in that the Wings were giving up significant draft picks and prospects for a known commodity. Also like Chelios, Schneider's prime was behind him, but he was still one of the better offensive defensemen in the NHL, and was a power play specialist. While Schneider never won a Cup in Detroit, he was able to put up 165 points in 231 games as a Wing. His injury in 2007 hurt the Wings a lot in their series against the Ducks. In terms of what they gave up, Avery is extremely well-known, and while he's got talent, I know I'm happy he's been pulling his stunts while wearing other jerseys. Kuznetsov, like Butsayev, never panned out and was out of the NHL pretty quickly. Karsums had a cup of coffee in the NHL (and played 24 games), and Tambellini was a grinder with the Islanders whose career was pretty short.
Season Result: Lost to Calgary Flames in Conference Semi-Finals.
Trade: Robert Lang acquired from Washington Capitals for Tomas Fleischmann, a 2004 or 2005 1st round draft pick (Washington used it in 2004 - Mike Green), 2006 4th round draft pick (Luke Lynes).
Impact: You thought the Chelios and Schneider trades were big? At the time of this deal, Lang was considered to be one of the best players in hockey (and was leading the league in scoring at the time of his acquisition). Heading into a labour shortage, there was no doubt that the current Wing team was nearing the end of its run intact, and that many players from the glory days would be moving on shortly. Bringing Lang in was a sign that the team was going for it all. It's hard to rate this trade. Lang was never the force that he was in Washington, but that's more due to his inconsistency. He spent 2 frustrating years in Detroit before heading to Chicago. Fleischmann was a big prospect to give up, but the jury's still out. Like Lang, his consistency in Washington was an issue, and he was traded to Colorado earlier this year where he was doing well until his season was ended by a pulmonary embolism. Mike Green is either a one-dimensional defenseman or a hell of defensive forward, but there's no questioning the fact he can put up the points. Lynes hasn't played a game in the NHL yet, so no one knows how he will turn out.
Season Result: Lost to Edmonton Oilers in Conference Quarter-Finals.
Trade: 2006 6th round draft pick (Nick Oslund) acquired from Phoenix for Jamie Rivers.
Impact: From everything I can gather, this was a salary dump to make room for a new defenseman (see below). Oslund never did anything for the Wings, and Rivers had a booming shot and nothing else. He's currently playing in Europe.
Trade: Cory Cross acquired from Pittsburgh for a 2007 4th round draft pick (Alex Grant).
Impact: Cory Cross? I don't know what Kenny was thinking with this deal. I guess he figured that bringing in slow, plodding defenseman had worked in the past, but this one was a bust from the minute it was made. In fact, after that season, Cross played a season overseas and then called it a career. Grant doesn't even look like he'll be a successful AHL player, so there was nothing lost.
Season Result: Lost to Anaheim Ducks in Conference Finals.
Trade: Kyle Calder acquired from Chicago in a three team deal for Jason Williams.
Impact: Holy crap, talk about a trade being even. Calder was a former prospect/young gun for the Hawks who ran into "I actually suck" problems and fell off the map. Jason Williams.......well, the less said about him the better. This trade needs to be wiped from the annals of history forever.
Trade: Todd Bertuzzi acquired from Florida for Shawn Matthias, a 2007 conditional draft pick (Nick Spaling) and a 2008 conditional draft pick (never exercised as it was conditional on Bertuzzi re-signing with the Wings that offseason).
Impact: Bertuzzi 1.0 was a disaster from the moment this trade was made. He played in only 8 games that regular season, but did suit up for 16 in that playoff run. However, he was never an impact player while on the Wings the first time, and he parlayed his trade to the Wings into a ridiculous contract from Anaheim in the offseason, relieving the Wings of sending one of their picks to Florida in the trade. As we're all aware, his time as a Duck was a disaster, and he re-signed with the Wings at the beginning of the 2009-10 season. Bertuzzi 2.0 has been a solid contributor and played all 82 games last season (I'm not touching how many he's played this year because I'm fairly superstitious). Matthias was a second round pick who never played a game as a Wing, and has been fairly forgettable as a Panther. Spaling is currently with the Predators playing in a checker role.
Season Result: Won Stanley Cup.
Trade: Brad Stuart acquired from Los Angeles Kings for a 2008 2nd round draft pick (Peter Delmas) and a 2009 4th round draft pick (Ben Chiarot).
Impact: The Wings were the best team in the NHL all season, but they had sustained some injuries on the blueline and needed defensive depth. Enter Stuart, a former first round pick who every team tried to turn into an offensive defenseman when he was more suited in a stay-at-home role. Paired with Niklas Kronwall for 2 seasons and now playing with Nicklas Lidstrom, he has been a force on the Wings as one of their most steady and consistent defenseman. Sure, there have been some rough games (Game 7), but his injury this year has shown that he is desperately needed on the Wings' blueline in order for them to be successful. Delmas and Chiarot have played a combined 3 games above the ECHL level, so at this point, it looks like the Wings were the big winners in this trade.
Season Result: Lost to Pittsburgh Penguins in Stanley Cup Finals (I don't want to talk about it).
Season Result: Lost to San Jose Sharks in Conference Semi-Finals.
Trade: Jordan Owens acquired from New York Rangers for Kris Newbury.
Impact: This is an interesting trade for me personally because my brother played against Newbury when they were kids. When he scored for the Wings last season, I could honestly say "I know that guy". Owens impressed in the pre-season this year but still needs developing. Newbury was just waived by the Rangers. This is a trade that will likely have little to no impact.
If there's one thing I've noticed throughout the research I've done, it's that the Wings have never really lost a trade, and even the ones that have been a draw have worked out well for the team. I've also noticed that none of the prospects the Wings have traded away have panned out to do anything, and very few of the draft picks have been impact players at the NHL level. With regards to the prospects, either this is a testament to the Wings' system of over-developing their younger players before bringing them up to the NHL level, or they knew that these guys were not going to be quality NHL players and knew to cut ties with them. The Wings have given up a lot of high draft picks, and the only legitimate "star" that has been drafted was Mike Green by Washington. Will the Wings do anything in the next 24 hours such as we've seen? Will a move be made that puts the Wings over the top and sets them on the path to Cup number 12? Only time will tell.