The rumor mill is usually filled with names of players that might be available to some degree. Typically, when talking about young, talented players, it's important to separate reality from fiction.
When you look at Skinner's numbers, it makes one question why a two-time 30-goal scorer (who is only 23) would ever be traded. Despite an extremely impressive rookie season that saw him score 30 goals, become the youngest player to play in an All Star Game, and win the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year, concussions have become a major concern. The latest occurred in the Hurricanes' final preseason game last year, and caused him to miss a few games. While he was able to appear in 77 games, the most since his rookie season, his numbers were his lowest in an 82-game season.
I'll admit to not knowing a ton about the Canes or what their plan is over the next couple of years, but it would seem that Skinner would fit in regardless of whether they were attempting to rebuild or looking to contend in the near future. He is signed through the 2018-19 season and carries a cap hit of $5.725M, so a team trading for him would be getting his services for the foreseeable future.
The Wings have not had a lot of recent success when acquiring players with a significant injury history. Erik Cole was a deadline acquisition who had his neck problems resurface after a seemingly harmless hit, and we're still debating whether Stephen Weiss should be bought out and ditched once and for all. The Wings also have Johan Franzen attempting to salvage his career after multiple concussions over the past couple of seasons.
However, a player like Skinner, with his natural goal-scoring ability and age, might be worth the risk. In looking at what it would take to get him, the price probably starts with the Wings' first round pick, either this year or next, along with a roster player and a prospect. I don't think he's in the "1st+ Dylan Larkin + roster player" category, but we reached out to a couple of Canes bloggers to get their thoughts.
In my opinion, I doubt the Canes are interested in Helm and a pick (they already have 10 picks this draft) and a top prospect. (but you never know) I think they are probably looking for a good defenseman.
Skinner is still young and I know he has a few warts, but they will be wanting to get back some value because the kid really is a natural goal-scorer and they have him locked up for a few more years. If I was Ron Francis I might be trying to get DeKeyser plus a good prospect, maybe like Mantha, Jurco, or Pulkkinen. I might also toss in a pick or lower level prospect back to the Wings.
We also asked Cory Lavalette for his thoughts:
I think it starts with a first this year, plus an above average prospect. If not that, I wonder if they'd push for Mantha+
Wouldn't rule out a deal like that (ed note: we proposed 1st + Darren Helm + either Tomas Jurco or Teemu Pulkkinen? Or pick of Det's defensive prospects). Realize Helm is a salary dump, but he could replace Dwyer (UFA). Might actually be overpayment by DET.
At the end of the day, it would seem that Carolina would want the one thing that Detroit is also looking to add: a good defenseman. Since the Wings don't have an abundance of them in their system, the question would be whether the Wings would want to part with one of their good defensemen to take a risk on a player who could complement an offense that is looking to improve.