June 19, 2024

Good News: For the first time in so many years, Red wings have the Trade Power to sign new players.

The clock is ticking – the Detroit Red Wings are just a couple days away from the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline. And, for the first time since 2017, the team is in position to buy.

Steve Yzerman will be quite busy in the final hours before the trade deadline as he attempts to improve Detroit’s roster. Will he make a splash? Or approach the deadline more conservatively? I emptied the notebook to share my final thoughts on this year’s trade market.

Red Wings Trade Deadline Thoughts

1. I don’t think Dylan Larkin’s injury significantly alters Detroit’s deadline strategy, as in turning a want into a need. Yzerman has always preached patience, and overpaying for a top-six forward isn’t that.

2. I do think we’ll see rumors of Yzerman checking in on the marquee names in the waning hours of the deadline. Leave no stone unturned – similar to the surprising rumor we saw last year when the Red Wings were reportedly close to acquiring James van Riemsdyk.

3. With Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond expected to get hefty contract extensions, cap space will be in short supply this summer. Surely, Yzerman and the Red Wings have this in mind – their moves will signal their level of comfort heading into the offseason.

Red Wings' Dylan Larkin lays motionless after taking hit to head; helped  off ice following scary scene | Fox News

4. For example, if Yzerman acquires a player with term, that means that the Seider/Raymond extensions might have lower AAVs than expected. It could also mean Yzerman is comfortable shedding cap space one way or another this summer.

5. Justin Holl has been mentioned as a player who could be dealt in a change-of-scenery trade. Doing so would free up $3.4 million in cap space if nothing is retained. Then again, that’s a high cap hit for a depth defenseman – teams won’t exactly be lining up to acquire him.

6. One potential trade partner for Holl, though, is the Minnesota Wild. Holl is an Edina, Minnesota-native, and could fit in nicely as the third-pairing right defenseman behind Brock Faber and Jared Spurgeon (once the latter is healthy). Holl has a 10-team no-trade list, but it’s fair to assume that his home-state team isn’t one of them.

7. In my opinion, Detroit’s top priority should be a versatile, bottom-six forward. Christian Fischer isn’t the answer at 4C. The Red Wings need someone who can shut down opponents if they want Joe Veleno playing higher in the lineup.

8. Jack Roslovic, Sam Carrick, and Brandon Duhaime are low-cost names to watch here.

9. Jiri Fischer and Kirk Maltby were in attendance for Monday’s contest between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Vegas Golden Knights. Detroit plays Vegas on Saturday, so it could have been advance scouting. But then again, they could have been there to watch specific players – like Roslovic.

10. The Red Wings reportedly have interest in Pittsburgh Penguins forward Bryan Rust . I like the player, but a 31-year-old with a $5.125M AAV through 2028 is a risky proposition.

Bryan Rust continues competitive fire as he approaches 400th NHL Game |  NHLPA.com

11. It may just be passive interest and nothing more. Elliotte Friedman noted that Penguins GM Kyle Dubas wouldn’t be asking Rust to move his no-movement clause.

12. The Red Wings were in on Jacob Markstrom before he signed with the Calgary Flames. He’s under contract through the 2025-26 season and has a $6 million AAV.

13. Detroit plays the Arizona Coyotes a few hours after the 3:00pm ET deadline. The Coyotes intend to sell, and Yzerman could meet with Arizona GM Bill Armstrong Thursday or Friday to discuss players like Matt Dumba, Nick Schmaltz, and Nick Bjugstad.

14. Admittedly, this is a far-fetched idea, but if the Washington Capitals are willing to part with a sweetener to move Evgeny Kuznetsov, then it’s worth conducting due diligence on his enrollment in the NHLPA Player Assistance Program, where he’s at now, and his intentions on continuing his NHL career. It may not be a fit, but winning a few more games this season shouldn’t prevent the Red Wings from exploring creative ways to acquire assets.

15. It’s worth noting that Kuznetsov shares an agent—Craig Oster—with Ben Chiarot, Christian Fischer, and William Wallinder.

Conclusively

The Red Wings don’t necessarily need to do anything at the deadline, especially with the talent they have in the AHL. They may be better off waiting until the offseason to improve their roster in a more balanced trade market.

Having insurance doesn’t hurt, though. Yzerman will need to balance his forward-thinking strategy with what’s best for the Red Wings right now.

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