In Red Wings Land
Holland, not wanting to risk losing to free agency players he believed could help the team maintain its playoff streak, signed several veterans to long-term deals that haven’t performed up to their pacts – including Jonathan Ericsson (six years, $25.5 million) in 2013, Justin Abdelkader (seven years, $31.5 million) in 2015, and Darren Helm (five years, $19.25 million) in 2016.
They also had an expensive free agent bust in Stephen Weiss, someone former coach Mike Babcock lobbied extensively to sign but was bought out after two years of a five-year, $24.5 million pact. And Frans Nielsen, signed to a six-year, $31.5 million deal in 2016, shortly after Pavel Datsyuk returned to Russia with a year remaining on his Red Wings deal, has not panned out.
Who could have seen this rock bottom coming for the Red Wings?
Red Wings trade tiers: Who’s tradable? Who’s untouchable? And who’s logical to move? | The Athletic ($)
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This episode’s topics include, but are not limited to:
- Outlook for the rest of the season
- Trade deadline speculation
- NHL All-Star Game
- Reader questions
Around the League
Our take: Yzerman’s going to keep this rebuild slow and steady, but he has shown in the past that he can be aggressive in dealing young players while their stock is high. Please recall the 2013 deadline shocker when Yzerman’s Lightning traded Cory Conacher to Ottawa for Ben Bishop. Along with dealing the obvious veteran assets, the Wings could use a trade or two like that.
Hey, if Yzerman can somehow bring in a goalie like Bishop, it would be upgrade.
Where we go from here remains unclear. LTIR isn’t an option, as the Bruins’ statement clearly says that Backes is healthy.
The team doesn’t appear interested in doing something like suspending him for failure to report, so... we’re in limbo.
The “options open” part of the statement seems to imply that the Bruins are still working the phones for a potential move of some kind, while Backes’ options are essentially limited to retire, sit out, or try to play in the AHL.
Don Sweeney should trade David Backes and a high draft pick (1st rounder?) to the Wings. Detroit will take his $6M cap hit (this season and next) off your hands!