The Detroit Red Wings have traded Nick Leddy and Luke Witkowski to the St. Louis Blues for Oskar Sundqvist, Jake Walman, and a 2023 2nd round pick. ESPN’s Kevin Weekes first reported this on ESPN + and it has since been confirmed by Frank Seravalli and Elliotte Freidman. Detroit has also retained 50% of Leddy’s salary.
Sundqvist has 15 points (4-11) and has one more season on his contract at a $2.75M AAV. But he’s also been hampered by injury.
Walman has six points (3-3) and is in the final year of his deal. He will be a restricted free agent in the offseason. He should find time in the lineup unless head coach Jeff Blashill opts to give the time to Jordan Oesterle or Danny DeKeyser.
A trade for Leddy was rumored for weeks and holding him out of games both Thursday and Saturday all but confirmed that movement was likely. Though he was in practice today, this didn’t prevent general manager Steve Yzerman from making a deal.
DHN’s Kevin Allen had Leddy sixth of his top eight targets on defense and only Buffalo’s Colin Miller (#7) and Jakob Chychrun (#1) were left on that list following the Leddy deal.
Yzerman Strikes with His First Big Move
As the day wore on, a similar debate amongst fans began with whether he would make a deal or not as other defensemen moved throughout the day. Yzerman put that to rest with the deal. He took advantage of a seller’s market and grabbed a few more players.
It was agreed upon amongst the ESPN panel that Sundqvist was well liked in the St. Louis locker room. He was also characterized as being a strong fourth line player for the Blues.
He would fit in nicely with a bottom six that Yzerman has been trying to re-shape with moves for Adam Erne and Mitchell Stephens over the course of his time in Detroit.
It remains to be seen if this is the first of several deals or the only one Yzerman plans on making. Names that had generated chatter were Marc Staal, Vladislav Namestnikov, Thomas Greiss, and even Tyler Bertuzzi. At points during the year, Filip Zadina was another name that would pop up.
Leddy Trade Checks Off Several Boxes
When Leddy was acquired last July, it was speculated that he would help ease in Moritz Seider to the NHL. It was also believed that he would get some more assets at the deadline.
Though Leddy would inevitably spend less time with Seider, the win for Detroit is gaining a second round pick while gaining a couple more players for the roster. Sundqvist’s injury certainly is something to watch, but Yzerman certainly makes another move to improve the Red Wings.