The Detroit Red Wings are sitting fairly pretty as we sit a week away from the March 2nd NHL trade deadline. For a team that was initially pegged to miss the post-season for the first time in 23 years, the Red Wings currently sit at 3rd in the Atlantic Division with 76 points; 4 and 5 out of 2nd and 1st respectively, and 9 above the 4th place Boston Bruins, who have surprisingly struggled to this point in the season.
Starting off their current Western road trip with two straight wins (3-2 S/O over CHI, 7-6 OT over DAL), the Red Wings don’t look to be in too dire a need for a deal before the trade deadline arrives. Obviously, as they’ve done all season and into last season, they would like to add a right-handed veteran defenseman to solidify the first or second pairing, but the problem lies in the fact that most of the right-handed players still available would be more “depth players” than actual upgrades, and that’s not what general manager Ken Holland wants.
With solid prospects in the pipeline such as Xavier Ouellet, Alexey Marchenko, and eventually Ryan Sproul and Nick Jensen, the Red Wings have all the depth at the blue line that they could possibly need. So it becomes a matter of A) Who do you determine that you can move forward without, B) How do you find a trade partner willing to take on said player and their contract, and C) Who do you upgrade them with.
The top two even-somewhat viable options available would be Jeff Petry from the Edmonton Oilers, or Mike Green from the Washington Capitals. While Petry has stepped his game up lately, he would likely be a big gamble for the Red Wings. It’s no mystery that playing for team so perennially bad as the Oilers has artificially deflated his stats, he still manages 4 goals and 15 points in 58 games, but also a scary looking minus-25 on the season. The Oilers will likely look to squeeze as much of a trade out of Petry as they can for the sake of their future, so the Red Wings will have to be sure of themselves if they decide to pull the trigger on him
Mike Green has slightly more of an upside than Petry does. An offensive-minded defenseman, he’s got 5 goals and 36 points in 52 games this season, and a much nicer looking plus-7 on the season. While he is a good puck-moving defenseman who isn’t afraid to get in on the play, he’s also been known to be lacking on the defensive-end of the game, allowing odd-man rushes and breakaways in some instances. He’s played better this season, as his plus/minus would indicate (minus-16 last season in 70 games), under the defense-first mind of Barry Trotz, so that could help if the Capitals decide to move him before the deadline. The only problem with this is that he would come at even more of a premium than Petry, not only being a more valuable asset, but also being a trade within the conference.
The Red Wings could also just stand pat at the deadline and be very poised to make a deep playoff run with their current lineup. They’ve shown time and time again this season that they’re able to grasp wins in multiple ways, and could very well be good contenders to at least take the conference this season.
(Featured image via YouTube)