The Detroit Red Wings only have $39.9 million committed to 14 players for the 2022-23 season. That’s important to remember going into the Monday’s 3 p.m. NHL Trade Deadline.
Detroit general manager Steve Yzerman has put himself in position to use cap space to his advantage if a good opportunity presents itself. The Red Wings can serve as a third-party to help a trade be completed. They could take a team’s larger contract for draft picks or prospects. It’s even possible they could acquire a potential UFA and immediately sign him long-term.
The Red Wings moved defenseman Troy Stecher Sunday to the Los Angeles Kings for a seventh-round pick. But they have the potential — more importantly the cap space — to do something much bigger.
Yzerman has a history of making moves that no one sees coming. No media outlet speculated about Yzerman’s acquisition of Anthony Mantha for Jakub Vrana and draft picks prior to it happening.
Remember also that it usually takes until after 4 p.m. to announce all the deals that came in under the wire. The Mantha-Vrana was a late announcement last season.
If there are no golden opportunities out there, Yzerman has eight potential UFAs that could be considered candidates to be moved a rentals.
Likely to Move
Defenseman Nick Leddy ($5.5 million): The Red Wings have embraced asset protection by sitting Leddy for the past two games. That’s an indication that teams are interested. Left-shot defenseman Ben Chiarot and Hampus Lindholm went early, and Mark Giordano is expected to land in Toronto. Contenders who lost out in that bidding will be looking at left-shot Leddy.
Forward Vladislav Namestnikov ($2 million): Not many reports of teams interested in Namestnikov. It’s surprising considering that he has played impressively this season. He’s a versatile forward with the skill to play on a scoring line and defensive chops to be a third-line grinder. Can kill penalties and he’s tougher than people realize. He has even fought twice this season for the Red Wings. Would be a great fit for the Tampa Bay Lightning or Bruins or Rangers.
— Ryan Hana (@RyanHanaWWP) March 20, 2022
Maybe, Maybe not
Marc Staal ($2 million): Doesn’t feel like Staal is moving. That won’t disappointment Yzerman. The Red Wings appreciate what Staal contributed as a hard-working, competitive player and a leader. It’s not a certainty they will bring him back next season. But they might consider it, depending upon who else they acquire.
Sam Gagner ($850,000): He is an inexpensive player who can play several roles. He’s a born leader, good in the dressing room, like having another coach on the bench.
Thomas Greiss ($3.6 million): A few teams are contemplating a goalie move. Greiss is a veteran goalie with a history of being a quality No. 2 goalie. But he hasn’t been as sharp this season as he was late last season. The Washington Capitals are looking and they know his history well from competing against him when he was with the Islanders. The Vegas Golden Knights have been mentioned. But the bottom line: Teams have better options.
Carter Rowney ($825,000): He has a Stanley Cup ring earned with Pittsburgh. But his season has been undermined by injury.
Danny Dekeyser ($5 million): Teams are always looking for a veteran defenseman. But Dekeyser hasn’t had a quality season and his salary cap hit is too high. Scouts have watched him enough this season.