With the March 2nd trade deadline approaching, the rumors will be swirling around several teams trying to unload players for the future, and others trying to add players for a playoff run.
The Detroit Red Wings, for several trade deadlines and off-seasons, have attempted to add a right-handed top-4 defenseman with size to bolster their blue line and power play. Last Summer, the Red Wings were trying hard to acquire a right-handed shot for their power-play with Daniel Alfredsson's health and return to the team in question. Holland and Babcock thought a right-handed shot was vital for the team's power play production.
Despite this, Detroit's power play has been in the top portion of the league for most of the season without a right-handed shot at the blue line. Their urgency to acquire a defenseman is not as high as it was at the beginning of the season, however it is still an area to improve upon.
TSN's Pierre LeBrun has indicated that the Red Wings are interested in Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson. However, the price may be too much for the Red Wings because of a few factors outside of their control; Toronto and Detroit compete in the same division and teams try to avoid trading within their division at all costs. If the Leafs and Wings were to engage in serious trade talks, the price may have to be higher than a 2nd-round pick and prospect for Franson.
The Red Wings have an abundance of young talent that they have patiently developed. Acquiring a defensemen like Franson or other comparable right handed defensemen on the market is not worth breaking up the youth movement the Wings have been developing. They currently have two young prospects, Ryan Sproul and Alexey Marchenko, who are both over 6 foot tall and have comparable skill sets to Franson. Neither are ready to be full-time NHL players, however, they are on their way and will be wearing the winged wheel in the near future.
If the Red Wings are not able to acquire Franson or any other of the available right-handed defensemen on the trade-market, they'll still have Sproul and Marchenko who can fill the role Franson would be expected to bring to the team shortly down the line. If the Red Wings can acquire Franson for a 2nd-round pick and depth players like Tomas Jurco or Jakub Kindl, I say pull the trigger, Ken Holland. But if the Leafs are going to be greedy and ask for more, the Wings should move on and try to add another defenseman that comes at an affordable price. Or stand pat, and not trade away valuable young assets for the future.
Holland has made it apparent that for the Red Wings to make a deal it has to be for the right, right-handed defenseman, and the trade has to make sense not only for the here-and-now, but also for the future. We will see what happens as the trade deadline approaches.