Preceding the Maple Leafs’ arrival in Detroit on Sunday are recurring reports Toronto is pressing the Red Wings to acquire Luke Glendening.
Head coach Mike Babcock likely is applying the most pressure, having been a strong supporter of the big checking centre going back to their time together in Detroit. Glendening’s best season, 12 goals and a plus five, was Babcock’s last season with the Wings. The undrafted University of Michigan star signed a four-year deal with Detroit last summer, but at $1.8 million US a season, it’s not a cap-breaker.
The Wings, who are not likely in the playoffs again this year, have a good relationship with the Leafs through Babcock’s former boss Ken Holland. But that doesn’t mean Glendening would be acquired for nothing. Like many teams ahead of the Feb. 26 NHL trade deadline, the Wings would like to pry away some of Toronto’s prospects or draft picks. As for an assertion that idled winger Matt Martin would go to Detroit because of his Windsor roots, he has neither a desirable contract, nor the inclination to make such a move go smoothly.
The Leafs are also trying to add depth on defence. While Toronto was in Pittsburgh the past two days, rumours resumed about defenceman IanCole, who was linked to the Leafs earlier this year, or Matt Hunwick, a Babcock favourite who is not being utilized at present. The rumour that never goes away is the Pens might approach the Leafs about centre Tyler Bozak, now on an expiring deal, based on his previous success with Phil Kessel.
I can assure you that the Red Wings want nothing to do with Martin’s $2.5 million cap hit for the next two years…