Is Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman preparing for another splash ahead of Monday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline?
Last season Yzerman pulled the trigger on a deal that sent Anthony Mantha to the Washington Capitals in exchange for Jakub Vrana, Richard Panik (financial reasons), a first-round pick plus a second-round choice. Looking back at this deal a year later, you can say Yzerman fleeced the Capitals and perhaps acquired the better player in the deal.
Mantha recorded four goals and eight points following the trade last season and has only appeared in 17 games this season, recording 11 points. Vrana has also spent a plethora of time injured this year but had recorded 11 points in 11 games last season and three over five games this year since returning from shoulder surgery.
Recently, Yzerman mentioned that there are only two untouchables ahead of the trade deadline. The two are clearly Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond, but I’d be shocked if Yzerman considered trading captain Dylan Larkin who is having himself a career year.
Six players the Detroit Red Wings may be looking to trade ahead of Monday’s deadline.
Yzerman traded Richard Panik this past summer and a second-round pick for defenseman Nick Leddy. At the time of the deal, I thought Leddy could be a candidate to be re-signed after coming off a 31 point season over 56 games with the Islanders.
Instead, Leddy has been somewhat of a disappointment this season in Detroit, recording 16 points over 55 games while skating to a minus -33. Plus/minus is one of those ‘old’ stats that has faded over time, especially with all of the analytics we use to evaluate players. This season, Leddy has provided the Detroit Red Wings with a Corsi For Percentage (CF) of 45.5%.
With Monday’s trade deadline looming, the Detroit Red Wings elected to hold Leddy out in their last game in Vancouver, and if he’s not dealt before Saturday night’s tilt in Seattle, expect more of the same as Yzerman looks to protect his investment.
The second player that will likely be on the move is forward Vladislav Namestnikov, who, similar to Leddy, is a pending free agent.
Namestnikov is talented enough to play up and down the lineup, but on a playoff team looking to make a deep postseason run, I feel he’s best suited on the third or fourth line.
The 29-year old has recorded 13 goals and 25 points over 59 games this season with the Wings while maintaining a CF of 45.2%, averaging just over 15 minutes per game. Namestnikov carries a cap hit of just $2 million.
The third player I will mention is Filip Zadina. This is one that I’d like to wait another year before deciding to give up on unless the deal is too good to be true. Zadina hasn’t done anything to warrant a Mantha-like return, but that is the type of return I’d be looking for before agreeing to a deal.
Zadina is just 22-years old and, for the most part, has continued to struggle at the professional level but has recorded three points over his last five games.
That production alone obviously isn’t enough to covet. Still, being just 22-years old, I believe Zadina can be a productive 20-goal player, but he just needs to remain confident and continue to work hard. In 59 games this season, he’s scored eight times and recorded 20 points while a CF of 48.7% averaging less than 15 minutes per night. When you look at how bad the Red Wings have been, that CF isn’t all that bad.
A change of scenery may do Zadina wonders, but I hope he sticks around for one more season in hopes he figures it out.
Another player to keep an eye on is veteran defender Marc Staal.
The Detroit Red Wings took on the final year of Staal’s lucrative deal ahead of last season with the purpose of adding additional draft capital as the kicker, which freed up cap space for the New York Rangers. Last summer, Staal performed well enough to earn a one-year deal worth $2 million and has played well enough to draw plenty of interest from postseason-bound teams looking for a sixth defender that also spews out invaluable leadership qualities.
Teams may also come calling for veteran goaltender Thomas Greiss, but his lackluster play over the past couple of weeks may deter anyone who had serious aspirations of adding the 36-year old backup netminder.
Greiss has produced an atrocious 0.887 save percentage to go with a 3.77 goals-against average in 24 games this season.
The final piece and the biggest fish in the pond might be Tyler Bertuzzi. Over the past few days, Bertuzzi notified the Red Wings and said he’d be open to a trade.
He didn’t formally request a trade but would welcome it. This comes as a bit of a shock to me, knowing how well the fan base has embraced his style of play, but he may be the player Yzerman can fetch the most in return for.
Want your voice heard? Join the Detroit Jock City team!
Bertuzzi has recorded 24 goals 24 assists totaling 48 points in 50 games this season. His vaccination status limits some of his suitors especially in Canada with their COVID-19 travel policy still in place.