Since being acquired by the Detroit Red Wings last July, Nick Leddy was presumed to be a bargaining chip for general manager Steve Yzerman at the trade deadline. With just over two weeks to go, Leddy remains one of the likeliest bets to be moved to a contender. A Stanley Cup champion with Chicago in 2013, the 30-year-old defenseman could put a team over the top should they be looking for help on the blue line.
Though his 12 points (1-11) in 49 games has been a drop off from expectations, he would certainly be heading to a team where his offense could be showcased more while having more help on the right side. The idea initially was for Leddy to partner with Moritz Seider, but head coach Jeff Blashill paired Danny DeKeyser with the rookie defenseman for long stretches of the season. It’s fair to say Leddy’s numbers may look different–and better–if he was with Seider more as planned.
Here’s a look at four teams likely to chase after him and one other potential option. Each one of these deals work under the assumption that the Red Wings retain half ($2.75M) of Leddy’s $5.5M contract.
The Bruins are a prime candidate in adding a veteran like Leddy. Believe it or not, adding Leddy would make him the elder statesman, albeit by a year, on the Boston defense. Add in the vast experience in the playoffs, and you have a nice fit for a team looking to get out of not only a tough division, but conference as well.
The Bruins have a second round pick to give up, or slightly lower, getting a conditional third next season that could turn into a 2022 second round pick if Boston advances to the Stanley Cup Final.
New York Rangers
If there’s any team that can cough up the resources for Jacob Chychrun, it’s the Rangers. But what if they want someone dependable who doesn’t cost nearly as much? Enter Leddy. New York owns two second round picks–their own and St. Louis, which makes a Leddy for a second round pick more feasible. Head coach Gerard Gallant would welcome the veteran blueliner so if there’s ever a deal that truly makes sense on paper, this is one of them.
The Panthers are a legitimate threat coming out of the Atlantic and bolstering their blue line with Leddy would only help their case for a Cup. Seventeenth in goals against, adding the offensive-minded Leddy might not help immediately, but would add more firepower to the offensive side of what is already the top-scoring team in the league. Beyond that, Leddy would bring more depth, something that the Panthers will need for a deeper run.
A conditional 2022 third round pick that could turn into a 2023 second round pick next season would be manageable. Maybe Yzerman could expand the deal and pry Owen Tippett away? He’s back with the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League, and perhaps Yzerman makes a creative move to add some offensive firepower for Detroit? Then again, Tippett has struggled to figure it out at the NHL level so it could be another tale of Filip Zadina, another highly-touted scorer who has experienced his fair share of ups and downs this season.
Maybe the Red Wings Hold Onto Leddy
In the end, might Yzerman hold onto Leddy and re-sign him to a cheaper deal or even flip him in a trade similar to the one seen with Jonathan Bernier? The trade deadline may not be as simple to move players as originally thought. With sellers being aplenty, it may limit what Yzerman can do with other teams having their own players to peddle.
Leddy certainly stands as one of Detroit’s best trade options. Will another team agree and make a deal?