GM Steve Yzerman’s history suggests that if you read about trade rumors about the Red Wings they are not necessarily going to become reality. Yzerman is an aggressive trader, but the deals he makes are ones you usually don’t see coming.
But there seems to be a heavy volume of pre-NHL Draft trade talk this summer, and the Red Wings are linked to several potential deals:
Alex DeBrincat, Right Wing, Ottawa Senators
The story: DeBrincat is a restricted free agent. The Senators are taking him to arbitration with the hope of getting his salary 15% below his $9 million qualifying offer. Despite scoring 27 goals, DeBrincat was -31 last season. The cap hit on his expiring contract is $6.4 million. He will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2023-24 season. The Senators are trying to trade him because he has been unwilling to re-sign.
Why the Red Wings are interested: They are looking to increase scoring and DeBrincat has netted 100 goals over his past three seasons. He netted 27 last season. Dylan Larkin (32 goals) is the only Red Wings player to score goals than DeBrincat did last season. DeBrincat is from Michigan and reportedly is interesting in playing in Detroit.
Validity of rumors: Strong. The Red Wings have undoubtedly engaged in conversations about DeBrincat.
Negative to the deal: DeBrincat would address the goal scoring issue, but doesn’t help the Red Wings’ desire to become bigger and tougher. DeBrincat is 5-foot-8.
If you guys want a bold trade it’s DeBrincat to the Wings
Last time Detroit had a 40 goal scorer was Hossa in 09. He’s done it twice, pacing for 50 in the COVID year
Missed just 4 games in the last 3 seasons. Played 96% of career games
Wings have trade chips to get it done pic.twitter.com/GhiyYUCB0g
— Jim Costa (@JimCosta_) June 17, 2023
What the Senators’ want: First-round pick, second, plus a prospect or player.
Reality: Don’t believe Yzerman will give up the No. 9. Perhaps he would move the No. 17. He has three second-round picks. It seems plausible that Detroit could land DeBrincat, but be careful believing the Red Wings are the favorite. Several teams are interested.
Chances of a deal: Reasonable.
Travis Konecny, Right Wing, Philadelphia Flyers
The story: The Flyers are retooling their roster and may move out four or five players by the NHL draft. Konecny has two seasons remaining on a deal with a $5.5 million cap.
Why the Red Wings are interested: Konecny is coming off a career-best 31-goal season. He can play a feisty game.
Validity of rumors: Sportsnet Insider Elliotte Friedman said he believes the Red Wings are in the mix.
Negative to the deal: Not much to dislike in this potential trade. Cap hit is reasonable. Having two years left on the contract is a plus. Konecny has mostly been a consistent scorer at the NHL level.
What the Flyers’ want: First-round pick, second, plus a prospect or player.
Reality: This wil come down to whether Yzerman will give up a first round pick. Yzerman won’t give up his top prospects (Simon Edvinsson, Marco Kasper, Carter Mazur, etc.). However, he has prospects he would move.
Chances of a deal: Fair. Depends on what happens with DeBrincat.
Brett Pesce, Defense, Carolina Hurricanes
The story: Pesce is a right-shot defenseman with one season left on his contract. The Hurricanes haven’t been able to re-sign him and they plan to trade him if they can’t reach an agreement. He is a critical defensive player on one of the NHL’s top defensive teams. The ‘Canes first choice is to sign him.
Why the Red Wings are interested: This is a effective defender making $4.025 million for one more season. He will be an unrestricted free agent next summer. Among Detroit’s biggest needs are right-shot defensemen.
Validity of rumors: Strong. Detroit Hockey Now has confirmed that the Red Wings made a inquiry
Negative to the deal: Pesce wants a long-term deal for more than $6 million per year. That’s problematic for the Red Wings and other teams. Pesce only reached 30 points for the first time this season.
What the Hurricanes want: First-round pick. They will get it.
Reality: Doesn’t feel like this will happen for the Red Wings because Yzerman is going to save his long-term deals for the team’s top players. Plus, several teams are interested
Chances of a deal: Long-shot.
Ross Colton, Wing/Center, Tampa Bay Lightning,
The Story: Colton is a restricted free agent and the Lightning don’t have the cap space to give him the contract he deserves. He has scored 38 goals over the past two seasons as a bottom six forward. This is a quality performer and a hard-nosed competitor.
Why the Red Wings should be interested: He would be an upgrade on their bottom six. The Red Wings need to get more goals out of their third- and fourth-lines.
Validity of rumors: Weak. It has been widely reported that the Lightning need to trade Colton and some media outlets have reported that Detroit is a good fit. Yzerman has a relationship with Tampa Bay general manager Julien BriseBois.
What the Lightning want: Draft pick or prospect
Reality: The Lightning need to see how many teams are interested. Plus, Yzerman needs to sort out his options. Doesn’t feel like anything is imminent.
Chances of a deal: Possible, not probable.