The Detroit Red Wings acquired Alex DeBrincat from the Ottawa Senators for a first-round pick in 2024, Dominik Kubalik, prospect defenseman Donovan Sebrango and a 2024 fourth-round pick. The deal worked for DeBrincat because he returned to his native Michigan. In recent years, he has returned to Michigan in the offseason. Here is a look at the components of the deal from each team’s perspective.
Senators: DeBrincat wasn’t going to re-sign with the Senators when he was a UFA next summer, and they wanted to move him to prevent losing him for nothing more than added cap space. If they waited until the 2024 trade deadline to move him, they risked him becoming injured.
Red Wings: The Red Wings need more offense and DeBrincat is a difference-maker as a goal scorer. He has averaged 31.1 goals per season for his six NHL seasons. DeBrincat has netted 41 goals twice. He’s been durable, missing only 16 games over the six seasons.
First Round Pick
Red Wings: You must give up something of value to acquire a proven scorer. They weren’t going to be able to make this deal without surrendering a first-round pick, especially given the fact they weren’t willing to give up their top young players. The Red Wings also have two first-round picks next season because they received Boston’s in the Tyler Bertuzzi deal. It’s their choice, which pick goes to Ottawa. GM Steve Yzerman is building through the draft, but has always indicated he would rather have a player than a draft pick. Let’s also not forget that Alex DeBrincat is only 25, meaning he fits nicely into a rebuilding team.
Senators: It’s not like there is no hope that the pick won’t be in the top 15. It’s not a lock that either Detroit or Boston will make the playoffs. The Bruins have lost some depth, and it’s possible that both David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron will retire.
Red Wings: Kubalik did score 20 goals last season. The Red Wings are losing some offense. However, Kubalik didn’t play as well in the second half of the season. He closed out the season with two goals in his last 18 games. The plus of moving Kubalik is that his $2.5 million gets added to the salary cap. After this trade was completed, the Red Wings still have more than $8 million in salary cap with only Joe Veleno still to sign.
Senators: They need to replace DeBrincat’s goals. There is talk of them landing Vladimir Tarasenko. That would do it. But it helps to have others with 20-goal seasons on their resume. Kubalik played impressively for Czechia at the most recent World Championships.
Red Wings: Team officials like the hard-nosed Sebrango. He’s only 21 and he’s played 158 minor league games. Sebrango projects to be a third-pairing defenseman. The Red Wings have a collection of quality young defensemen and several of them are ahead of Sebrango on the depth chart. The Red Wings will have a crowded defense in Grand Rapids, just like last season. Sebrango might have trouble finding minutes. This trade could be an opportunity for him.
Senators: Sebrango was born in Ottawa and played for the Ottawa Junior Senators. Club officials know him. Plus, they want guys who would like playing in Ottawa.