The Detroit Red Wings are 10 games into the season and have only appeared marginally better than last year.
Many of the struggles of the 2019-20 season have carried over into this season. Inconsistent scoring, weak defense, and puzzling roster moves are becoming all but normal for the team. Something needs to change — and fast. Fortunately, general manager Steve Yzerman has quite a few options at his disposal.
Earlier this season, the Columbus Blue Jackets traded Pierre-Luc Dubois after expressing his unhappiness with his team.
This move seemed to ignite a fire through the NHL, as several players requested trades from their current organizations. The Detroit Red Wings have a golden opportunity. For the right price, they can secure long-term assets at reduced costs as teams continue to try and ship out their players.
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These are just a few of the players Yzerman, and the Detroit Red Wings should consider trading for this season:
Erik Brannstrom – D, Ottawa Senators
Acquired in the Mark Stone trade, Brannstrom is a monumentally talented asset that would kick the Red Wings’ rebuild into high gear. At 21 years of age, Brannstromhas plenty of time to grow alongside the rebuild, as well.
The idea that the Senators are willing to ship off their best prospect is a bit of a head-scratcher, as Brannstrom has more than shown the skill to shoulder a full NHL season.
Brannstrom has been compared to former NHLer Kimmo Timonen, a defenseman that totaled 571 points in 1,108 games. If Yzerman can convince the Senators to part with the highly-touted defenseman, Detroit’s defensive core will be a force for years to come.
Proposed trade idea: Detroit receives Erik Brannstrom, Ottawa receives Dennis Cholowski, Taro Hirose, and a 2021 2nd round pick.
Vince Dunn – D, St. Louis Blues
Vince Dunn is another intriguing name on the list. The Blues defenseman has shown a lot of skill on the ice but has been unable to carve out a full-time role with the team due to St. Louis’ defensive depth.
The 24-year-old would likely slot on the Detroit Red Wings’ top pairing almost immediately due to his skill with the puck and ability to work tough corners.
Dunn will likely come at a high price tag. As of right now, the Blues are asking for a 1st round pick at a minimum. If Yzerman isn’t able to forge a compromise, he may consider other options.
Having said that, the former Detroit Red Wings captain has used his ability to net players like Robby Fabbri and others. Perhaps a return of Fabbri to the Blues alongside a high-round pick would be intriguing enough for St. Louis to consider.
Proposed trade idea: Detroit receives Vince Dunn, St. Louis receives Robby Fabbri and a 2021 2nd round pick.
Sam Bennett – C, Calgary Flames
Last on the list is a player that would work wonders with a fresh start — Sam Bennett of the Calgary Flames. It feels like Bennett has been in the NHL for a long time. He’s played in seven NHL seasons, totaling 129 points in 372 games.
The Flames’ forward has never quite lived up to his draft placement, but a new opportunity may allow him to turn over a new leaf.
Yzerman may be able to net Bennett for a low-risk, high-reward deal. With Calgary on the hunt for depth scoring and Detroit in the midst of a rebuild, this could be a match made in heaven. The options are abundant for Calgary.
They could secure a potential long-term asset in Taro Hirose or opt for a veteran presence with Darren Helm or Luke Glendening. With a bit of salary retained, one or both of Helm and Glendening could be a perfect fit for the Flames.
Proposed trade idea: Detroit receives Sam Bennett, Calgary receives Darren Helm (50% of salary retained), and Luke Glendening.