Detroit Red Wings NHL Trade Deadline Brings Uncertainty

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Gustav Nyquist

No one knows what to expect from the Detroit Red Wings 2019’s installment of the NHL trade deadline. Many people think that Detroit will continue the long rebuild by trading valuable veterans like Gustav Nyquist, Jimmy Howard, and Luke Glendening. However, general manager Ken Holland said that he’d be willing to re-sign Howard, Nyquist and Nick Jensen according to a report by MLive.com’s Ansar Khan last week.

Detroit has done a solid job of drafting and accumulating draft picks. The most recent draft by the Red Wings drew solid ratings by experts. Holland managed to draft the highly-regarded scorer Filip Zadina and a solid centre in Joe Veleno. Later picks like Jared McIsaac also were considered steals by many draft pundits.

The Red Wings are against the salary cap but do have some relief due to Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen being on long-term injured reserve. Holland would love to get some relief so he can go after free agents or take a shot at locking up young players like Tyler Bertuzzi.

Detroit Red Wings NHL Trade Deadline Primer

Making Trades

Howard and Nyquist are two of the more attractive targets of the upcoming unrestricted free agents. The Syracuse, New York native is 34-years-old and could be a target for a team in need of shoring up their goaltending situation. Howard has been through the playoff wars and has done the best he can with a young and often-injured defense.

Nyquist has 14 goals and 33 assists for 47 points in 57 games this season. He’d be a solid addition to any team looking for secondary scoring. His situation is reminiscent of Tomas Tatar’s last season. Holland managed to get a first-round pick in the last draft, a second-round pick in 2019 and third-round pick from the Vegas Golden Knights in 2020 for Tatar. The Wings have already made a great first step by selecting Veleno with first picks for the Golden Knights.

Glendening is also a name that has been bandied about in trade rumours. He’s a former favourite of current Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock. He was a fan of Glendening’s defensive prowess and penalty-killing. Detroit may be able to get something for the veteran centre.

Jensen is a low-cost option but could fetch some interest because of that lower price tag. The Red Wings would love to see what Filip Hronek and Joe Hicketts can do with sustained NHL minutes.

Standing Pat?

However, Holland won’t give away the farm unless he can get the right deal. The longtime general manager wouldn’t be opposed to bringing back the trio of Howard, Nyquist or Jensen. Jonathan Bernier has struggled at times and has a 6-13-1 record with a 3.37 goals against average and .898 save percentage. The Wings may decide to give Howard a short-term deal until they can figure out a long-term solution.

Nyquist is on the top line with Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha and his 14 goals are third on the team. Detroit does want to get younger, but they don’t want to do what the Edmonton Oilers did a few seasons ago. That young team was thrown to the wolves and took their lumps. Keeping some veterans would be helpful for the Red Wings as they try to climb up the standings.

The Last Word

Detroit will try to make the best deals possible to get itself back into the post-season. Holland has done well the last couple of seasons of getting picks and prospects. However, he’ll need to do it again if wants to make a leap up the standings like the Buffalo Sabres this season.

The adage of “best trade is the one you don’t make” could ring true for the Detroit Red Wings in the next couple of weeks. Red Wings fans will be waiting for Feb. 25 with bated breath.

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