It's worth an ear-perk at least that we sent Draper, Maltby, AND Ken Holland himself, but it's not even really smoke. GMs show up to watch other teams' games fairly regularly and the sheer number of times that nothing comes out of such visits easily dwarfs the amount of HOT TRADE ACTION that follows.
But who were they looking at? The Jackets are kind of a mess, so it's a bit of an open market. We know the Wings want defensive help, so it's no surprise that Aaron Portzline's own speculation has a big veteran defenseman on the radar.
Well sure. Fedor Tyutin then.
#51 / Defenseman / Columbus Blue Jackets
July 19, 1983
Tyutin is a veteran of 785 regular season games (and 32 playoff games). He's never been a points-producer, but is well-considered as a "stay-at-home" guy. He's also got a NMC, a modified NTC, is 32-years old and has a cap hit of $4.5M.
For his fancies? Tyutin is one of two Blue Jackets defensemen whose Corsi differential isn't negative, which is good for a team with a score-adjusted CF% of 47. He's also pretty sheltered as far as usage goes. He's played 43 games this season and averages just 15:33 of even strength ice time per game (5th on the team) and 17:46 overall (also 5th). He gets no power play time and is generally used in 2nd-unit PK minutes.
In short, I'm not entirely sure why the Red Wings would be looking to add this guy for this season and two more other than Ken Holland thinking the guy is the next Brad Stuart missing-piece type player. I think it's possible, but Brad Stuart solidified a defense with an unquestionable top two defensemen. This team lacks that.
Honestly, if the Wings are looking to add Tyutin, it would almost certainly have to come with the Jackets taking back a contract that Detroit wants to get rid of pretty badly (think Kindl and drop Ericsson out of your mind). It should also involve the Jackets retaining salary.
I can't begin to speculate on actual cost for a deal like this because I can't make sense of it in my head. It's possible that they were there looking at Jack Johnson instead, which might make a little bit more sense, or we could shoot for the moon and say Ryan Murray is the target. Either has more upside and less cost than Tyutin.
At the end of the day, what we can say is that tires were kicked and we like our team, I guess.