The NHL trade deadline is inching closer and closer, and with that, the trade talk is heating up. We take a look at some of the latest NHL rumours and analyze what they mean going forward. Today we look into the latest on the Detroit Red Wings goalies Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek, their top wings Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar; and Columbus Blue Jackets winger Boone Jenner.
NHL Rumour Mill
Detroit Red Wings Drama
The Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland had a lot to say, on February 14th, about the team’s thoughts as the trade deadline approaches. Holland said the Wings are not buyers. He also specified that they will not be dealing away any future assets, like prospects for picks, in an attempt to make the playoffs this year.
Rumor: The Detroit Free Press reported that Wings general manager Ken Holland spoke a lot on any trades while on his way to Tampa Bay. He specified that the team’s starting goalie, Jimmy Howard, has received considerable more interest than backup Petr Mrazek.
Analysis: Howard has been a controversial figure when it comes to trades in the past few years. Howard has a cap hit of $5.29 million per season. His hefty price, combined with his age, has made him really unattractive to most teams. But this year things have switched. Howard has played 42 games and gone 16-18-6. If the return is worth it, the rebuilding Wings will deal the 33-year-old in a heartbeat. If they do deal him away, they’ll be looking for assets to help them in the long run. Potential teams for Howard include the Philadelphia Flyers, who said they’re looking at the goalie market after Brian Elliot‘s injury, and the New York Islanders who are fighting for a playoff spot despite below average play from their goalies all year.
Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar
Rumor: Ken Holland also said the team has gotten a lot of interest for Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar. Ansar Khan, Michigan Live writer, reported that the team was likely to move one of the top wings to open up space for youngsters to move up in the rankings.
Analysis: The idea of the Wings dealing away one of their older wings fits with what’s been heard. The team seemingly wants to open the way for younger players like Dominic Turgeon and Evgeni Svechnikov. The team would get a good return for either player, too. If they’re looking to expand their prospect pool and get more picks, trading away one of the star wings will get them a hefty return. So far, there’s been no specific teams mentioned. It can be assumed that a lot of teams would want a solid winger like Tatar or Nyquist, though. Both players have 25 points on the year. They would make great middle-lineup wingers who can score.
Rumor: Ken Holland capped things off by reinstating the Mike Green rumours. Green has been one of the best of the rumoured defensemen. Holland added to that speculation by saying that the Tampa Bay Lightning has become one of the front-runners in the Mike Green race.
Analysis: Green could be the last piece of the Lightning’s puzzle. The Bolts have had a stellar year on the back of a very solid offence. While their defence is strong too, it lacks depth. If they add Green as a middle-line defenseman, their defence would be much improved. The Wings could likely get a decent return for Green too. Tampa will want like be going for broke trying to win a cup this year, and the Wings could exploit that to get even more future assets. If Detroit wants to maximize their intake of picks and prospects, a team like Tampa is the ideal trade partner.
Moving Away From Detroit
Rumor: Aaron Portzline, The Athletic’s Columbus Blue Jackets beat writer, reinstated that the team was listening to offers for Boone Jenner. Not much else has come out about the topic.
Analysis: Jenner has been overlooked by most non-Columbus fans, but he’s a very valuable forward. At the age of 24, Jenner has finally started to come into his own. He currently has 16 points in 50 games. For a team needing some secondary scoring, Jenner is a great pickup. A trade could be the ignitor that sparks a potentially great career. Jenner has already had one season where he recorded 30 goals and 49 points, at the age of 22.
Columbus wouldn’t want to get rid of Jenner for cheap, though. He has a lot of potential and sees a good amount of ice time with the Blue Jackets. There isn’t much to say what the team is looking for, or who is interested in Jenner, but he joins a group of very gifted forwards who are being rumoured this year.
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 24: Tomas Tatar #21 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates his powerplay goal at 4:05 of the third period against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on November 24, 2017 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Red Wings 2-1 in overtime. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)