With the NHL trade deadline a little over a week away, the Detroit Red Wings’ front office should expect to be among the most active teams at the deadline. Now that team captain has had surgery on a serious back injury, Detroit will be looking for more leadership and experience as they prepare for a playoff push.
The Red Wings currently sit in eighth position in the Eastern Conference, but teams like Columbus, Ottawa and Washington are just a single point behind that coveted final playoff spot.
One or two moves could push the Red Wings farther up the Eastern Conference. Their streak of 22 straight seasons with a postseason berth is on the line, and the deadline acquisitions below would help the Red Wings make it 23 straight playoff appearances.
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RYAN SPROUL, PATRICK EAVES, AND A 1ST ROUND DRAFT PICK TO VANCOUVER FOR DEFENSEMAN ALEXANDER EDLER
Detroit has had their eye on Edler ever since the 2009 draft and almost completed an offseason deal before Edler’s new contract kicked in. In his new contract, a no-trade clause was enacted and Edler would have to waive it if the deal went through.
The kicker? Edler has severely struggled under Vancouver’s new coach John Tortorella. He is on pace for a -31 plus/minus rating and may contemplate a change of scenery if a deal comes his way.
However, Vancouver may want a more experienced defenseman instead of Sproul. If that is the case, throw in Kyle Quincey, who is in his contract year and not expected to return to the Red Wings following this season.
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RILEY SHEAHAN, A PROSPECT, AND A 5TH ROUND DRAFT PICK TO NASHVILLE FOR CENTER DAVID LEGWAND
This was tough to write, as Legwand has been a longtime Nashville Predator, a former Central Division rival of Detroit. However, Legwand has been one of the more consistent players in the NHL for the last six or seven years.
He is 33, but Legwand still has some game left in him. He leads Nashville in points this season with 40, and with Zetterberg and Weiss injured, he provides added leadership and depth at center behind Pavel Datsyuk.
As an added bonus, Legwand is from Detroit. If Detroit is serious about making the playoffs, Legwand could provide some offensive spark and disciplined play to the Wings’ rotation.
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Buffalo center Steve Ott
Edmonton left winger Ales Hemsky and defenseman Jeff Petry
Calgary left wing Mike Cammalleri
Dallas defenseman Steve Robidas
Nathaniel Bott is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.