The Detroit Red Wings were once again sellers at the 2018 NHL Trade Deadline as they’ll be on the outside looking in on the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the third straight year.
Their two trades were sending defenseman Nick Jensen to the Washington Capitals in exchange for Madison Bowey and a 2020 second-round drat pick, as well as sending Gustav Nyquist to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a 2019 second-round pick and a conditional 2020 third-round pick.
General manager Ken Holland discussed the moves and the importance of acquiring draft capital as the team builds towards the future.
“At the end of the day, to rebuild, going with youth has got to be done through the draft, it has to be done through multiple picks,” Holland said. “Would I like to have acquired more picks? Yeah I’d love to have acquired more picks. But the market place speaks.”
Aside from San Jose, the Boston Bruins also expressed interest in acquiring Nyquist. Holland and Nyquist’s agent did discuss a contract extension, but weren’t able to come to terms.
“I guess I was conflicted a little bit because I was hoping coming into this season we could be more competitive than what we are. I think on a night-to-night basis we’ve been competitive enough to be in most hockey games. The games are exciting. We’ve made comebacks.
But the reality is when you look at the standings, we are not nearly as competitive as we need to be to compete for a playoff spot. As you work your way to the trade deadline, I felt it was more important to grab more future. That’s the direction we’re going. To go out and re-sign and keep the team together, the team hasn’t been quite good enough.”
When will the Red Wings embark on another long playoff run? Not any time soon, according to Holland.
“It’s (going to be) a while,” Holland said. “You just have to look around the league and look at the teams. Some teams are really good teams and they haven’t gone on long playoff runs yet, and they’ve been building for a while…..When you are building through the draft, it’s going to take time. I’m preaching patience.”