Detroit Red Wings trade rumors: Ken Holland Looking for Defense

Bruce Bennett

As the March 5th NHL Trade Deadline looms, the Red Wings sit right on the bubble for making the playoffs. The Wings have seven days to decide what they're going to do about the rest of the season and will play three games in that time. With Henrik Zetterberg out for what looks to be the rest of the regular season, Detroit will have a little bit of flexibility to add a player.

With that in mind, Detroit Sports 105.1's Matt Dery (@dery105) spoke on the phone with Ken Holland yesterday to discuss several topics, including the Red Wings' Deadline Day plans. You can listen to the entire interview here, but if you're not interested in listening to talk about how great the Olympic experience was, you might want to jump ahead to roughly the eight-minute mark where they get down to the brass tacks.

Highlights:

  • Holland talks about winning games 2-1 instead of 4-3 quite a bit. There's definitely a bit of Babcock's team strategy in Holland's words, but I think he's playing a bit coy on the idea about the team's struggles to score.
  • There's a concern about spending a first-round pick on a rental if the gamble doesn't pay off and they miss out on the playoffs. Instead, he talks of wanting to make a "hockey move."
  • Kenny is happy with goaltending and forward depth, but would like to be able to add a veteran defenseman to help the youngsters on the blueline.
  • In a running theme between "men" and "kids", Holland describes the top group in Grand Rapids as "kids", indicating that help isn't likely coming from below this season.
  • No names are mentioned, but he hints that he's happy with the PK, but would like to get the power play going. It certainly sounds like what he'd be after is a solid minute-munching top-four guy who can play the point on the man-advantage.

Looking around the league, there are a few candidates that would fit well if the right kind of "hockey moves" are available to grab them. I can't say what it would take to get any of them, but I have to think that any trade which brings in a defenseman also has to eliminate one. To that end, Jakub Kindl and Kyle Quincey are two likely candidates for the part, although I wouldn't count out Brendan Smith or Brian Lashoff. Any moves that get the kind of defenseman it seems Holland wants would certainly have to be bolstered by additional value to make it work, but a guy like Tom Gilbert or perhaps Alex Edler would be a good trade target.

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