We’re weeks away from the NHL Trade Deadline, and that means we have no idea what the hell is about to happen!!
The good news, is that we are all excited about it.. Right? No, we’re not excited. As a matter of fact, I am so in-the-middle of excitement and not-caring that I somehow keep forgetting that the Trade Deadline is actually a thing.
Anyways, TSN insider Bob McKenzie, A.K.A Uncle Bob, A.K.A Bobby Margarita weighed in on the Red Wings plans going forward, including every other team’s plans on the latest version of TSN Hockey Bobcast.
The big question for the Red Wings going forward is what are they going to do? They have a glut of forwards, defensemen, and pretty much everything for that matter.. Aside from fans in the stands.
McKenzie thinks that while Ken Holland is in the seat (he’s in the final year of his contract), the plan will be to avoid rebuild. His argument there is that teams like Edmonton, Buffalo, and Arizona have fallen flat on their faces with that plan. Teams like the Maple Leafs have come to be very fortunate in finding success with their plans of rebuilding. They’ve done this by having a strong core of young players that built veteran-like experience while the team was going through growing pains.. Those players being Nazem Kadri, Morgan Rielly, William Nylander, etc.
The way McKenzie sees the Wings is that they will continue to trade players like Mike Green to acquire prospects and draft picks until thinks pan out. “Zetterberg, Abdelkader, Helm, Glendening will be the mentors and the stabilizing nucleus for Larkin, Mantha, Athanasiou, Bertuzzi…” says McKenzie.
McKenzie also believes Mike Rasmussen could be with the Red Wings next season, which would be a welcomed development from many fans. If Rasmussen can stay healthy, he would be a fantastic addition to the team’s top-six, or top-nine.
What to do with Green?
McKenzie says that Mike Green will absolutely be traded... Now the big question is for what?
Uncle Bob believes there are two scenarios for Green. The first being what Kevin Shattenkirk got, which was essentially a first-round pick, and Zach Sanford (a highly-coveted prospect). The second being what Brendan Smith got; a second-round pick, and a third-round pick. At this point, I’d be fine with both, but would be upset if there wasn’t a first-round pick involved. Thankfully, McKenzie thinks they can easily net a first-rounder for Green.
McKenzie points out that Green has a NTC.. Which means he makes the call in terms of what teams he might be traded to. He believes the best suitor is a team like the Tampa Bay Lightning.
McKenzie also thinks that Mike Green would consider coming back to the Wings in the summer on a short-term deal if the money made sense.
I personally think Green ends up with Vegas. The team has a glut of second-round picks, and has disposable cap space.
As we've told you before, McKenzie believes a team like the Predators are interested in scoring wingers like Gustav Nyquist or Tomas Tatar.
He thinks that term could play in the Wings’ favor — It may give Detroit leverage to get a second-round pick in exchange for the contract.. Maybe more.
Important to note that Nyquist has a no-trade clause in his contract. I think that the odds of one of the two getting traded is very slim.
One’s gotta go
And now to the most polarizing topic among Red Wings fans.. Goaltending.
McKenzie confirms that one of Petr Mrazek and Jimmy Howard could NOT be with the team next season. He believes the team will try to trade one of the two, but he doubts it will happen. The team doesn’t want to pay over $9million for two goalies. He believes the chances are slim, since the goalie market is so hit-or-miss.
McKenzie pointed out that the Wings may elect to pass on qualifying Mrazek.. Effectively making him an unrestricted free agent.
If I were a betting man, Mrazek is as good as gone.
However you want to look at it, there is a lot of thinking for the Red Wings’ front office to do in the coming weeks leading up to the trade deadline.
The clear plan is that the team isn’t ready to assume a full rebuild due to current trends of most rebuilding teams, and that makes sense. They don’t want to turn into an endless pit like Arizona, Buffalo, or Edmonton.