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Trade Deadline: Potential moves for Red Wings

Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL trade deadline is set for this Friday at 3PM ET, and we can expect a lot of activity across the league. Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman will have a big decision to make: Move for depth, or sit idle and trust what he has. We probably won’t know what Yzerman will do until, well, he does it. So I figured why not do some speculation based on some of the more prominent names churning through the trade rumor mill, and sprinkle in some of my opinion.

NHL Trade Tracker

Let’s break it down by position…


Dylan Larkin’s injury (out two weeks) was a huge blow for the Red Wings, but his absense likely won’t trigger a knee-jerk deal by Steve Yzerman. That being said, any team with playoff aspirations looks to improve its offense.. Just depends on the price. There are a couple of names out there that interest me:

Pavel Buchnevich (STL)
The 28-year-old Russian scorer’s move to the Western Conference has paid off big. Since the Rangers traded him, Buchnevich’s offense has flourished. I expect there is a lot of interest in him, especially since he’s got some term. Buchnevich has another year left on his deal, with an AAV of $5.8 million.

What will it cost, though? Steve Yzerman has a storied past with the St. Louis Blues (see Robby Fabbri, Jake Walman, Ville Husso, etc.) My guess is that St. Louis will want a first-round selection for Buch just to start.. But would they consider a second-round pick with a high-end young talent like Jonatan Berggren? That would be a deal worth making if you ask me.

Jake Guentzel (PIT)
Guentzel has been the biggest name on the market this cycle, and for good reason. The 29-year-old is a goal-scorer, tried and true, eclipsing the 40-goal mark twice in his NHL career and consistently puts up 20+ goals. The caveat here is his contract situation. Guentzel’s current deal expires at the end of the season, he currently carries an AAV of $6 million. Doesn’t sound like a sign-and-trade is on the cards.

I’m a little hesitant with Guentzel. Detroit has been linked to him, but I’d rather trade for a player with some term so you don’t have another big contract to deal with in the offseason; Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond are both due for extensions. Those should be priority number one this offseason, or before.

Frank Vatrano (ANA)
Love this guy. He’s a pure goal-scorer that will light the lamp over 30 times this season. He’s 29 and carries a cap-hit of $3.65 million, and even better — he’s got another year left on his current deal. Vatrano may be the best bang for your buck if you’re searching for more scoring depth.


The Red Wings are reportedly shopping some of their defensemen, but would also like to add some “snarl” to the blue line. There are a number of names out there that could make sense.

Noah Hanifin (CGY)
Hanifin is a dynamic blueliner that can add some offense into the mix. The former 2015 top pick is on the last year of his current deal carrying a $4.95 million. Detroit could certainly use him, but I sour a bit on this for a couple of reasons. First, he’s going to want a big payday — He reportedly had an eight-year deal on the table from Calgary worth some $7.5 million per.

You only trade for Hanifin if you’re confident you can get him signed at a reasonable term for the long haul.

Jakob Cychrun (OTT)
The Senators are reportedly listening to offers on the 25-year-old rearguard, who has performed well for a basement-dwelling team. He’s making $4.6 million per until 2025, so the value is clearly there. The big question is what it will cost to pry him from Ottawa. The Sens paid a few draft picks to get him from Arizona, that would likely be the starting point for any trade talks.

Yzerman just acquired Alex DeBrincat from the Senators in the offseason, so I am not sure how compatible the two teams would be in this situation. I would guess the price starts at a first-round selection and a high-end prospect. Detroit’s prospect cupboard is well-stocked, so Steve Yzerman has the fodder to get a deal done. If Ottawa is open to shipping Chychrun off to Detroit, you gotta do it. At 25, he’s got a lot of room to grow on a team that should only improve from here.

Joel Edmundson (WSH), Sean Walker (PHI)
Here are two rental defensemen that would fit the “snarl” role. Both Edmundson and Walker carry cheap AAV, have the experience, and can add some beef to the blue line. Wouldn’t go crazy for either, but it’s easy to understand why Detroit might be interested. Walker reportedly wants $5.5 million for his next contract. That’s a no for me.


I don’t expect a deal for a goalie. Detroit has three right now, including Ville Husso who is on IR. I think the focus should be improving at forward and defense. What’s the fun in that, though? Here are a couple that may be of interest.

Kaapo Kahkonen (SJS)
27 years old, pending UFA, easily-digestible cap hit. Could be had for cheap I imagine.

Juuse Saros (NSH)
28 years old with two years left on his contract at $5 million per. We’ve seen him play at a high level and has shown that he can be a viable starter. Problem is, Saros reportedly wants big money on his next deal, which is why Nashville is listening to offers.

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