The basement-dwelling Detroit Red Wings will certainly be sellers at the trade deadline as they have multiple UFAs on expiring deals ready to be shipped out of Motown to aid the Lose for Lafrenière movement. Detroit currently has a league-worst 32 points in 57 games with a 2-7-1 record in their last 10 games. What we believe the Wings should and will do under new GM Steve Yzerman is trade as many of the UFAs/veterans as you can for picks and prospects, then call up the prospects in the system such as Joe Veleno, Filip Zadina, and Michael Rasmussen, to allow them to gain much needed NHL experience in the remainder of this lost season.
Detroit should be fairly active in the rental defenseman market, as Mike Green, Jonathan Ericsson, Trevor Daley, and Alex Biega all have their contracts expire following the conclusion of this season. Of the four defensemen, Trevor Daley and Mike Green have the best career AB scores at -1.96 and -1.85 respectively, however, Green has had four seasons in a row of registering a -4 or worse AB score. One could argue he should’ve retired years ago, however, Detroit signed him to a 2-year extension in 2018 paying $5.375 million annually. This may be a hefty price to pay for potential suitors, however, if Detroit is willing to retain salary, we could see the 34-year old Green being moved to a team that desperately needs defensive help in exchange for a mid-tier prospect or mid-round draft pick. Trevor Daley, however, is about $2 million cheaper than Green, two years older, but coming off a respectable -2.12 AB score last season with the Wings. As we already mentioned, he has a better career AB score than Green. Both defensemen are underperforming on the offensive end, as Green has only registered 8pts in 42 games, while Daley only has 6pts in 31 games. As far as Jonathan Ericsson is concerned, his career-best AB score is a -1.12 in 2012, since then he hasn’t registered a season above a -4 AB score as the numbers just keep going down with each passing year. We would take whatever any team would offer for him in terms of draft picks or prospects and not complain. Of the four, Biega is least likely to be dealt in our opinion because Detroit just traded for him in early October.
The best asset Detroit has to offer a team however is Jimmy Howard. With a $4 million dollar contract, the Wings may have to retain salary here as well to move him if they choose. A career .913 save percentage goalie, Howard still may have some gas left in the tank and could help a team with goaltending issues attempt to make a playoff push or just provide stability in net for the remainder of the season. This would leave Jonathan Bernier the starting goalie job and open the door for a potential Filip Larsson call up in the near future perhaps. We will be keeping an eye on the Red Wings over the next several weeks, as the Quit for Quinton and Lose for Lafrenière movements are in full swing across the league’s basement-dwellers. More to come.