Detroit Red Wings: Four players Steve Yzerman won’t be able to trade

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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With the trade deadline quickly approaching, Detroit Red Wings General Manager Steve Yzerman is trying to make the best trades possible, but there are four players he may not be able to move.

The Detroit Red Wings are going to be shopping every player they can at the trade deadline, trying to get any team to bite on a trade that will benefit the team’s future. The issue is, the Red Wings crop of tradeable players is not the greatest, and there are a few players that may not even be able to be moved. Red Wings General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman is going to have to work hard to try and work around some of the lovely contracts in which former GM Ken Holland left the organization with.

Players like Andreas Athanasiou or Jonathan Bernier are going to be sought after by teams in the National Hockey League (NHL) looking to make a postseason run. Still, some of the lesser players may struggle to find new homes.

Yzerman is going to have to work some magic to try and come out on the other side of the trade deadline, feeling that he did the best for the betterment of the Red Wings future since winning now is far from the goal. The entire “rental” class for this year’s trade deadline is not the deepest pool of players, which should play to Yzerman’s advantage.

Going into the trade deadline, the Detroit Red Wings possess every one of their picks EXCEPT, a fourth-round pick for the 2020 draft. They have also gained an extra second-round pick and a third-round pick from the Washington Capitals and San Jose Sharks, respectively, from trades last year. In the 2021 draft, the Red Wings possess all of their picks and also have an extra pick in the third round from the Vegas Golden Knights.

The thing is, the market for players like Trevor Daley and Justin Abdelkader is pretty thin to nonexistent. Now someone like Daley may be targeted by the Pittsburgh Penguins who would like to bring him back for a cup run considering he was there in the past, but it’s a thin market. Abdelkader’s $4.25 million cap hit through the 2022-23 season makes him almost useless to teams unless we retain a majority of the salary.

Jimmy Howard, on the other hand, played his way out of being traded by forgetting how to play goalie this season. After a steady career in net, 2019-20 has not been his year, and Bernier has emerged as the clear cut starter following Howard’s lackluster efforts in net. Frans Nielsen is on a Stephen Weiss 2.0 contract, still on tap for $5.25 million through the 2021-22 season, which is less than ideal for the Red Wings.