Does it sound like a bad sitcom? Most definitely, but somewhere you can picture a tortured Zach Parise, looking out his trophy room window, a fire crackling behind him as the rain patters against his window, hoping, praying to be freed from Newark and to move to a contender at this year's deadline.
And so, with that wonderful image in mind, let's take a look at the Red Wings, their cap room, and who, maybe, they can acquire at this year's deadline.
All of the following numbers are courtesy Capgeek.com. If you are unfamiliar with it, I highly suggest losing an afternoon going over and over the endless databases of numbers and salary information.
So, let's take a look at what the Red Wings can do this year at the deadline, first by analyzing the cap room they will have at the deadline.
While the Red Wings cap room is listed at just over $5.79 million, this isn't accurate as to what the Red Wings can acquire in a salary cap hit. The way that the trade deadline works is as follows. Again, from Capgeek:
Since teams are only responsible for the remaining cap hit on an acquired contract (the cap amount owing for the final 40 days rather than the full 185-day value), teams operating under the cap can take on contracts of increasing value as the trade deadline approaches.
Therefore, the $5.79 million is an inaccurate representation of the size of contract the Red Wings can absorb.
Again, according to Capgeek, should the Red Wings want to add a player today, they actually have $14.67 million in salary cap room. Which is a ton of cap space. But, should Holland decide to wait until the deadline, the Red Wings will have a whopping $26.77 million in possible cap acquisition.
In short, they could acquire Ovechkin and Crosby and still have almost $10 million dollars to spend.
This is largely uncharted territory for the Red Wings post-lockout era. To date, their biggest acquisitions have been Todd Bertuzzi (2007) and Brad Stuart (2008). Other then that, the trade deadline has been largely quiet around these parts, but that should (or could) all change this year thanks to the mammoth space that Detroit now has to make a move.
But the question is: what do the Red Wings need?
As Nighmare on Helm Street argued today, the Red Wings aren't exactly hurting right now. They'll enter the All-Star break in first place, regardless of what happens tonight in Montreal. Their offense is great. Their defense is better. Their goaltending is airtight (minus Conklin). But, like with any team, there are some weaknesses on this team that should be addressed if the cap room allows. And this year, it absolutely does.
From my standpoint, which is usually wrong and is by no means scientific, I figure the Red Wings could use an elite goal-scoring winger and another defenseman, be he a shut down defenseman or puck mover, it doesn't really matter.
Now, I've blabbered on and on, and if you want to go grab a snack, I'd suggest this is the right time. Because now, we'll get to the fun stuff: who should the Red Wings target?
Zach Parise: I'll start with the easy one. In Lou We Trust is already bracing for the poaching of Parise at the hands of Holland and Co. His cap hit? $6.2million, a number easily afforded by the Red Wings for this season. He's a free agent this year, and if he likes it, maybe he'll stick. If not, well, flags fly forever. He won't be cheap, but he could give the Wings that elite goal scorer that Pavel Datsyuk could absolutely use.
Alexander Semin: Probably one of the most enigmatic players in the league, Semin has operated on a series of one-year contract extensions for the past two seasons. His performance is less-than-stellar this season, and he only has 28 points in 44 games. He's a penalty liability, but he possesses thirty goal possibility and is that shoot-first winger the Red Wings could use.
Ales Hemsky: He's been discussed ad nauseum everywhere. He's cheaper than the other two options, he's pretty talented, but he's a pass-first player who has health risks. I'd pass, but I'm not in charge.
Tuomo Ruutu: Raise your hand if you forgot about him. Currently rotting in Carolina, Ruutu is actually putting up a pretty great season. 15 goals, 26 points, all for $3.8 million. He's a physical player, and would look pretty nice on the second line if you ask me.
Ryan Suter: I confess, he's my pipe-dream for this team. A free agent this year, a reasonable cap-hit for the rest of the season, and a potential replacement for Lidstrom should he retire this year, this is almost impossible. He plays for a division rival, one who is currently in the playoff hunt. So, probably won't happen.
So have at it fellow WIIM'ers. Who you want? Who you think will actually pull the Winged Wheel over their head? Do we even need to make a move?
SO MANY QUESTIONS!