To say the Detroit Pink Wings are off to a tough begin is an understatement.
The crew is close to the underside of the NHL standings, battling the Ottawa Senators, Los Angeles Kings, and the Minnesota Wild for final place. Whereas they’re within the midst of a rebuild, the easiest way to arrange for the longer term is by acquiring property that can profit them down the highway. Rebuilding groups will usually commerce gamers on expiring contracts or team-friendly offers to safe draft picks and prospects who could turn into key items of the crew’s future.
The Pink Wings are in a precarious place. Their veteran core is both too inconsistent or too-often injured to warrant any excessive returns like Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar yielded prior to now. Barring a blockbuster deal, it’s unlikely that any younger gamers like Anthony Mantha or Tyler Bertuzzi will bid farewell to the crew. If common supervisor Steve Yzerman is unwilling to half with the younger core of Dylan Larkin, Mantha, and Bertuzzi, he could think about different choices.
The official NHL Commerce Deadline is on Feb. 24, 2020. Between from time to time, Yzerman could think about buying and selling the next gamers:
Glendening is without doubt one of the crew’s premier depth gamers. Famend for his elite faceoff potential and flexibility on the penalty kill, he’s been an asset for the Pink Wings for the reason that second he donned his sweater. His unparalleled work ethic has set him aside from the typical participant, incomes him a place as an alternate captain this season. He’s a wonderful position mannequin on and off the ice and is very regarded for his optimistic perspective by means of any scenario. Whereas he solely has three factors in 12 video games, his position facilities round his all-situations model of play; an enormous boon for the Pink Wings at any time when he units foot on the ice.
Luke Glendening, Detroit Pink Wings – Dec. 18, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
If Yzerman decides to commerce Glendening, it’s possible that he would transfer to a crew just like the Buffalo Sabres, who’re actively looking for depth gamers to assist manage their scoring threats. Whereas Glendening isn’t an offense-first participant, his potential to work on the defensive finish can open up scoring alternatives for his teammates, serving as a wonderful depth choice for a crew pushing for the playoffs. The Pink Wings would possible ask for a return of a center to higher-tier prospect or a middle-round decide within the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Glendening is the kind of participant who makes his presence recognized; he’d be a welcome addition to any crew searching for extra locker room cohesion.
At 34 years outdated, Inexperienced remains to be in a position to present his ability as one of many Pink Wings’ finest defensemen. When he isn’t injured, he reveals glimpses of the participant who as soon as scored back-to-back 70-plus level seasons. He’s remarkably constant on the facility play, producing the vast majority of his factors from the blue line throughout odd-man rushes. Moreover, his years of expertise can work wonders in mentoring any contending crew’s youthful defensive core. He’ll be capable to train one other crew the do’s and don’ts of nice offensive play as a defenseman.
Mike Inexperienced #25 of the Detroit Pink Wings. (Photograph by Invoice Wippert/NHLI through Getty Photographs)
Inexperienced would be the hardest participant to commerce on this checklist. Together with his damage historical past and worries about his age, many groups will decide to move on the potential danger in favor of safer choices. Having mentioned that, buying and selling Inexperienced isn’t out of the realm of chance — particularly with a common supervisor like Yzerman. If Inexperienced is traded, he’ll possible internet anyplace from a third-round decide to a middle-tier prospect. His finest years are behind him when it comes to ability, however he can nonetheless function a wonderful depth defenseman and power-play menace on a crew seeking to jump-start their offense. A crew just like the Calgary Flames could chew in hopes that Inexperienced’s potential will spark their offense.
With gamers like Robby Fabbri excelling at their roles and prospects like Michael Rasmussen and Filip Zadina exhibiting their stuff, there’s an odd-man out scenario growing in Detroit. Hirose, a free agent from Michigan State signed final yr, appears to be struggling to regulate to the crew’s rocky begin. Final season, he secured a spot with seven factors in 10 video games; this yr, he has solely six in 19. Whereas not a foul participant by any means, Yzerman can have his work lower out for him if the best crew approaches him with the best supply.
Hirose, at 23 years outdated, nonetheless has his finest years forward of him. If a participant like Zadina or Rasmussen handle to wrest his place from him, he’s more likely to discover himself on the commerce block. His quick-thinking model can be an enormous asset to a crew just like the Edmonton Oilers, who’re out there for younger, high-flying wingers who can excel alongside celebrity Connor McDavid. Moreover, Oilers common supervisor (and former Pink Wings supervisor) Ken Holland was the one who signed Hirose to his NHL contract within the first place. Hirose would possible be traded for a defensive prospect or a second-round decide at finest. This, in fact, isn’t to say that Hirose doesn’t have what it takes to make it on the Pink Wings’ roster — it’s extra of a testomony to his potential to succeed inside the best system.
The high-flying ahead is coming off his strongest season but, knotting 30 objectives and 54 factors within the 2018-19 season. He’s agile, slick, and a pressure to be reckoned with at any time when he units foot on the ice. It could be laborious to think about Athanasiou going to a different crew, however Yzerman is the kind of common supervisor who considers each potential end result. If the best supply presents itself, he could haven’t any alternative however to check the waters for a probably large commerce.
Athanasiou, a restricted free agent (RFA), is ready to endure contract negotiations after the 2019-20 season. Together with his historical past of contract holdouts and his sluggish begin to the season, it’d do Yzerman good to attempt the wait-and-see strategy to make his subsequent choice. Athanasiou would possible internet a really excessive decide or a sequence of prospects if traded. Having mentioned that, his departure could do extra hurt than good; his offensive ability set is uncommon, and his play model evokes highlight-reel worthy objectives at nearly each flip. Yzerman possible has a plan and, if that plan entails buying and selling Athanasiou, he’ll possible wait till the right supply comes alongside to tug the set off.
Who do you suppose will probably be traded earlier than the deadline? What do you see coming again in return?