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Why Red Wings Shouldn’t Trade For Goalie

Detroit does have goaltender trading options



Ville Husso, Red Wings
Ville Husso has proven erratic for the Red Wings since arriving in a 2022 trade with the St. Louis Blues.

Could the Detroit Red Wings trade for a goaltender? Sure, they could do that.

The real question, though, is why would they do that?

Dealing for a puckstopper hasn’t worked out for them in recent years. Nor has it proven to be a path for success elsewhere in the NHL.

Of the three goalies who were logging the most time between the pipes for Detroit last season, it was the one the Red Wings traded for who struggled the most. Between injury and erratic play, no one was mistaking Ville Husso for a Vezina Trophy contender.

Husso was 85th in the NHL with a 3.55 GAA. His .892 save percentage was good enough for 73rd overall among NHL netminders.

In two seasons with Detroit since arriving in a deal with the St. Louis Blues, Husso has left more questions than he has provided answers. And he’s still got one year left on his contract with the team that will pay him $4.75 million next season.

So if the Red Wings do want to deal for a new goalie, they’ll need to be getting rid of one of their current goalies. It’s more likely that choice would be Husso than Alex Lyon. Moving Husso is going to be a tough sell to other NHL clubs.

Red Wings Have Goalie Trade Options

Certainly, there are some goalies around the NHL who are available for trade. Some good ones, in fact.

At the top of that list is 2022-23 Vezina Trophy winner Linus Ullmark. The Boston Bruins want to move on from him and go with Jeremy Swayman as their No. 1 guy. According to published reports, Ullmark, armed with a no-trade pact, has submitted a nine-team list to the Bruins of teams he’d consider joining.

Are the Red Wings on that list? It would seem doubtful.

Besides, the Bruins also are reportedly seeking a first-round pick in any package for Ullmark, who’s slated to be making $5 million heading into the last year of his contract. Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman is unlikely to give up a first-rounder for a goalie who’s never won a playoff series.

Other possibilities for puckstopper deals include Jacob Markstrom of the Calgary Flames and Filip Gustavsson of the Minnesota Wild. Markstrom will make $6 million each of the next two seasons and his numbers over the past two seasons look remarkably similaro to those of Detroit’s goalies.

Gustavsson is just 25 and only making $3.75 million over the next two seasons. But last season, his save percentage slipped from .931 down to .899, while his GAA jumped to 3.06 from 2.10. Which season was the aberration?

Cup Winners Don’t Trade For Goalies

Recent history shows that in general, teams that win Stanley Cups grow their own goaltenders. This year’s Cup final is putting a goalie signed as a UFA (Florida’s Sergei Bobrovsky) against a goaltender who was drafted by his team (Edmonton’s Stuart Skinner). In fact, Bobrovsky was the only goalie among the final four who wasn’t home grown.

Over the past 12 seasons, just one team has won the Stanley Cup with a goalie between the posts who was acquired via trade. That was last season, with Adin Hill and the Vegas Golden Knights. However, it’s prudent to remember that home grown Logan Thompson was to be the go-to goalie for Vegas until he suffered an injury.

In fact, 10 of the last 12 goalies to backstop their teams to the Cup were draftees of that team.