One of the more likely players to be talked about in trade rumors leading up to the NHL’s trade deadline, Detroit Red Wings forward Luke Glendening is actually in the midst of a rather impressive season.
Although he’s hardly a player who is going to pour the puck into the net or create a ton of offense, Glendening has proven himself as useful in many other ways on the rink. While he has posted 11 points to this point in the season (three goals and eight assists), perhaps more impressive is the fact that he currently holds a +2 rating while playing for a team that has a goal differential of -37.
For his career, Glendening has recorded a total of 54 goals and 68 assists for 122 points, over 538 games. This season, in particular, he is averaging just under 15 minutes of ice-time per game, making the plus/minus rating even more appreciable.
More often than not throughout his career with the Red Wings, Glendening has been relied upon for his ability to defend against top opposing players. While he has seemingly lost a step or two in this regard over the past couple of seasons, there has been a new emergence in his abilities: he currently has the best faceoff winning percentage in the entire league. While it might not seem like faceoff percentage is the most important aspect of hockey (which it is not), it still does hold at least a bit of importance. After all, your team can’t score without the puck, right?
So, what type of team might be interested in a player like Glendening at the trade deadline this year? A team in need of depth down the middle. While it would be unfair to expect him to play in the top six, especially for a team contending for the playoffs, he has most definitely proven to be a player who can hold an important role on a team. Given the right opportunity, he could do the same on a team trying to make the playoffs. He is in the final year of a contract carrying a cap hit of $1.8 million. I expect that this will be the year that the rumors come true, and Glendening finds himself in a different jersey by the deadline.