Even though you most likely read that title and scoffed, hear me out.
The Detroit Red Wings’ offense needs help. Goal scoring was down this season from last, and every player on the roster took a step backwards in terms of overall offensive production. If GM Ken Holland intends on keeping his team a playoff contender, and take that next step to become an actual Cup contender, he needs to pull the trigger on a blockbuster trade that he’s been so reluctant to make. That’s where Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry comes in.
Red Wings fans know him well from the Detroit/Anaheim playoff series’ of 2007, 2009, and 2013, as well as his infamous fight with Pavel Datsyuk on opening night in October of 2010. He’s become known as one of the more talented goal scorers (and right-handed to boot) in the NHL. But after another disappointing finish in Anaheim this season, the Ducks could be looking to make some major changes.
In order for this to work, a few things would need to happen. First, if Pavel Datsyuk does indeed retire, Ken Holland would need to trade the remaining year and $7.5 million cap hit to a team currently in the league’s salary cap basement. Perry’s cap hit is currently $8.625 million after signing an 8-year, $69 million deal with the Ducks in 2013.
Second, Holland would need to include a few current Red Wings in the deal. The most obvious candidate would be forward Gustav Nyquist, who saw his offensive production dip this season after reaching nearly 30 goals the previous two seasons. In addition, Holland could also offer defenseman Jonathan Ericsson and a draft pick or two. Losing Ericsson wouldn’t mean much to Detroit, as they have several young defenseman waiting in the wings in Grand Rapids and are poised to take the next step, such as Xavier Oullet, Ryan Sproul, and Nick Jensen.
Perry has scored 110 goals in the last three seasons for the Ducks. If the Red Wings aren’t able to sign free-agent sniper Steven Stamkos this off-season, Holland should consider doing what it takes to acquire Perry from Anaheim. The Ducks are poised to make changes this off-season, and the Red Wings need offensive help.