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Red Wings Trade Riley Sheahan to Pittsburgh and Ryan Sproul to New York for Scott Wilson, Matt Puempel & Picks

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Detroit Red Wings v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

With the Red Wings having an agreement to sign in hand with forward Andreas Athanasiou that couldn’t be signed until the team made the cap space necessary to fit Athanasiou’s $1.3875M contract under the salary cap, they made a couple moves announced today:

The Sproul-for-Puempel deal isn’t the bigger part, but it moves a kid out of the logjam to get a guy who’s basically in the same position career-wise back but who isn’t a defenseman.

Puempel will turn 25 this season and carries a cap hit of $725,000. He cleared waivers this summer and is on a one-year deal that will expire with him being an arbitration-eligible RFA. A former Ottawa Senators draft pick (taken with a pick that Detroit traded out of in 2011), Puempel was a waiver claim by the Rangers last year, re-signed to a deal, and now will be heading to help out the Griffins.

On the other deal:

This one is the space-making deal the Wings needed: Scott Wilson’s cap hit is league-minimum, so his hit joining the Wings combined with Athanasiou’s combine for just under what Sheahan going to Pittsburgh clears up.

Wilson is a 25-year old Tatar-sized winger with 106 NHL games under his belt and 32 career points to show for it (13 goals). Also a 2011 draft pick, his stock wasn’t quite so high as Puempel’s, going in the 7th round, but he’s made a decent name for himself with Pittsburgh. Not having cleared waivers, Wilson will likely be with the Wings. Since Detroit was already playing with a 22-man roster, there’s space to accommodate this.

Wilson will be an RFA at the end of this season.

In terms of reaction to the news, I’m glad that Sproul is out of the logjam and that Detroit was able to upgrade a 5th round pick to a 3rd rounder with the Sheahan deal. I think Pittsburgh is going to look pretty smart in the end for grabbing Sheahan as their 3C, but I also think Sheahan probably wasn’t going to live up to that in Detroit anyway.

This will give the Wings the space on the roster, the cap, and in the lineup for their returning burner Athanasiou, will give the Griffins more space on their blue line to play prospects like Filip Hronek/call up Vili Saarijarvi from Toledo, and will take one more stopgap callup option away on defense for Ken Holland. Not a bad day overall.