The Red Wings aren’t as screwed as we think

Joseph Beaudet

Yes, they are the most cap-strapped team in the NHL, somehow. However, they’ve got a new group of core players coming through the ranks, and they will almost certainly move Mike Green at the trade deadline, and maybe even Gustav Nyquist.

Nyquist isn’t a player I want to move, believe me. But there’s no denying that he would bring a healthy return, and teams like Nashville or Chicago come to mind. Nashville got Kyle Turris from Ottawa in the deal that brought Matt Duchene to Ottawa. They’re still a team that needs goals and point production after losing James Neal to the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft. Turris certainly helps lessen that blow, but not to the extent that Neal is fully replaced. Chicago lost goalscoring when they traded Artemi Panarin away to get Patrick Sharp back. Chicago’s situation also isn’t helped even in the slightest by the fact that Marian Hossa won’t be playing at all this season due to illness.

In a potential deal to the Blackhawks, somebody like Darren Raddysh is intriguing. Yes, he was signed by Rockford in the AHL, but he’s still in the Blackhawks system and eligible to be traded away if I’m not mistaken. As a more offensive-minded defenseman, he’s exactly what Detroit needs. And while he hasn’t exactly been lights-out in the AHL thus far, he’s certainly got potential to do so at just 21-years old. Through his last 4 full seasons with the Erie Otters, his plus-minus was never below 26. Now, this trade would by no means be a straight swap, and with rumors circulating that Nyquist was on Chicago’s radar last year, Ken Holland may be able to work his magic again this year. Yes, he’s among the worst GM’s in hockey, but he’s always been good at trades. I mean, he managed to get third-round pick for Tomas freaking Jurco, so that has to count for something. Nyquist could certainly yield Raddysh and a third- or fourth-round pick at the worst from Chicago.

In a deal with the Predators, defenseman Trevor Murphy is thought provoking. He’s a little further down in Elite Prospect’s rankings of Nashville’s prospects, but he’s still a good offensive defenseman that loves to play physically as well. And, we all know that Ken Holland loves him some physical players. His plus/minus throughout his last 4 full seasons is concerning, but there’s room for improvement at just 22-years old. He’s playing well so far with the Milwaukee Admirals as well this year. Again, by no means would this be a straight swap, as Detroit would undoubtedly ask for more than an unproven player with sub-par plus/minus. Nyquist should fairly easily yield a second- or third-round draft choice from the Predators along with Murphy.

In a potential Mike Green deal, one would assume that a first-round draft pick isn’t completely unreasonable. Though they’re currently on the struggle bus, Edmonton would almost certainly be hitting the phone lines for a proven NHL defenseman. There also isn’t much doubt they can turn their season around just 27 games in. Now, there’s no reason to believe Edmonton wouldn’t give up a first rounder for Mike Green. Referencing the Sami Vatanen to New Jersey trade, Dave Lozo says it perfectly.

Effectively, the Oilers general manager, Peter Chiarelli, isn’t the sharpest of fellows, so maybe Ken Holland could work some of his magic and fleece a prospect off Edmonton too. But that probably won’t happen, so I won’t even waste my time looking into that.

Time for more pressing matters. I was in the midst of writing this, on my way home from a day in Wisconsin, when the Red Wings got absolutely embarrassed by the Montreal freaking Canadiens. The notoriously terrible offensive team. While I still do genuinely believe this team isn’t done, it’s unacceptable. This team is much too talented to give lose by 9 goals. Sure, the defense is filled with a bunch of 2nd- or 3rd-pair defenseman with no true top-2 guy. So it makes sense that you’re going to be leaky and have a lot of games where they let in 4, 5, even 6 goals. Sure, they’re offense is still young and getting their feet, and still somehow working with training wheels on. But come on, this game is just the latest of their seven-game losing streak, and God I hope it doesn’t get much longer. Whether we like it or not, Jeff Blashill will continue placing the blame on the younger players, Athanasiou and Mantha get the most of all.

This team is talented, no doubt. Both in goaltending and offensive abilities. Their special teams, powerplay and penalty kill, are both playing above the league average. Heck, even Jimmy Howard is returning to the Jimmy Howard Red Wings fans love despite playing behind, arguably, the worst defense in the NHL. This is certainly a team that can make the playoffs, whether that’s a good thing or not, remains to be seen. However, Jeff Blashill needs to stop with the optional skates in the midst of a losing streak. AND, they can’t have more 6+ game losing streaks after already having two in the first 27 effing games.

 

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