The Red Wings’ beat writers have weighed in on the Red Wings’ trade deadline move and non-moves.
The Free Press’s Helene St. James focused on the Tatar trade and the sum total of the Wings’ draft picks this year…
The Wings traded forward Tomas Tatar to the Vegas Golden Knights just before Monday’s deadline, in exchange for a first-round pick in 2018, a second-round pick in 2019, and a third-round pick in 2021. The Wings are not retaining any salary, so it clears a contract that had three more years at $5.3 million per year off the books.
It also gives the Wings two first-round picks in the 2018 draft, which is considered deep on high-end defensemen and high-scoring forwards.
From prior trades, the Wings also have two picks in each of Rounds 2, 3, 4 and 6 in 2018. One of the fourth-round picks is a conditional pick from the Petr Mrazek trade, and could rise to a second-round pick if Mrazek and the Philadelphia Flyers reach the final four of the playoffs.
Clearing salary cap room is crucial as the Wings face re-signing budding stars Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha and Andreas Athanasiou this summer.
Tatar ended up being the Wings’ only move of the day. There had been interest in pending unrestricted free agent Mike Green, but teams were wary of the defenseman after he suffered a neck injury Feb. 15 during a game at Tampa Bay. It also hurt Green’s trade value when the New York Rangers made Ryan McDonagh available; he ended up going to the Lightning, which had had interest in Green.
MLive’s Ansar Khan weighed in on the moves the team did not make…
They did not move defenseman Mike Green, a pending unrestricted free agent, due in large part because his value diminished due to a neck injury that forced him to miss the past six games. He is close to returning. The Red Wings have informed Green, 32, they would like to re-sign him in the off-season.
Tatar, 27, has scored 110 goals over the past five seasons. He has 16 goals and 12 assists this season. But the Red Wings have several young forwards on their roster (Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou) and in their system (Michael Rasmussen, Evgeny Svechnikov), so they deemed one of Tatar or Gustav Nyquist expendable. Nyquist has a no-trade clause.
A few teams showed interest in forward Luke Glendening, particularly Toronto and his former coach, Mike Babcock, but the Maple Leafs acquired Tomas Plekanec from Montreal on Sunday and the Red Wings didn’t like the offers they were getting.
Despite some speculation, the Red Wings were not trying to move Athanasiou.
They found no takers on young defenseman Xavier Ouellet, who has a year remaining on his contract at $1.25 million.
The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan took a tangent…
It’s not likely trading Tatar, who is tied for second on the team with 16 goals, will be a popular move within the Red Wings’ locker room.
Many players talked about hoping management would keep the roster together, given the Red Wings are only five points from a wild-card spot.
Tatar also is one of the more popular teammates on the roster, often joking and laughing in the locker room.
The Red Wings now have 11 draft picks in June’s entry draft.
And CBS Detroit’s Will Burtchfield wondered whether Mike Green’s “positive example” kept him on the team:
Jeff Blashill sung Green’s praises last week in terms of setting a positive example.
“First of all, I think Mike’s work ethic and his will to win has rubbed off on any young player that’s come in this locker room,” Blashill said. “He’s been excellent, his competitiveness has been excellent. I’m not sure that everybody totally understood that, maybe the perception wasn’t quite that. I can tell you what reality is: He comes to work and comes to compete every day. I’ve been unreal impressed, so that rubs off on everybody in the locker room.
“I also think, when you’re trying to get your D to jump into the play, you’re trying to get your D to be part of the offense, it’s great to have an example of it. He’s been a great example of how you push the puck up the ice, how you join the play, how you try to push for offense in what I think is today’s kind of NHL’s defenseman.”
Blashill and the Red Wings have stressed the importance of getting offense from the blueline since the All-Star break, and Green leads the way in this department. Second-year pro Nick Jensen, who — for better or worse — has been bolder with the puck and more active in joining the rush this season, has broadened his game simply by watching Green play.
“It’s kind of mesmerizing watching him play out there with his stick-handling skills and his playmaking ability. I think it’s rubbed off on me with the playmaking ability,” Jensen said. “Obviously his great breakouts and being able to get the puck from his hands into the forwards’ hands, that’s a focus every defenseman has, and watching him helps. I think you always have a little bit more time than you think. If you don’t think you have as much time, you tend to panic with the puck. You never see panic in that guy’s eyes. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone as calm as he is, as confident in bringing the puck up like that. There’s been some guys, but not quite at that level.”
In Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Sun’s Jesse Granger has weighed in…
Just before today’s NHL trade deadline, the Golden Knights sent three draft picks to Detroit in exchange for 27-year-old winger Tomas Tatar.
Tatar has 16 goals and 12 assists for the Red Wings this season and has scored more than 20 in three straight seasons. The Czech has also topped the 40-point mark in each of the last three seasons.
In a win-now move, Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee paid a premium for Tatar. Vegas sent Detroit its first round pick in 2018, second-round pick in 2019 and third-round pick in 2021.
Unlike many deals just before the noon trade deadline, Tatar is not a one-year rental for the Golden Knights. He is signed through the 2020-21 season at $5.3 million a year.
This year, Tatar has played mostly on the Red Wings’ second line alongside Dylan Larkin and Andreas Athanasiou, and the second power-play unit. Averaging 2:17 of ice time with a man advantage, Tatar has scored half of his goals this season (8) on the power play.
As did the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s David Schoen:
The Golden Knights missed out on the big prize at the NHL trade deadline — Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson.
But the Knights made two separate deals Monday, acquiring left wing Tomas Tatar from Detroit and minor league defenseman Philip Holm from Vancouver.
To land Tatar, the Knights sent their first-round pick in June’s draft along with a 2019 second-round pick and a 2021 third-round pick to Detroit, according to TSN.
Tatar, 27, has 16 goals and 12 assists in 62 games for the Red Wings. His eight power-play goals matches the Knights’ leader, Erik Haula.
The 5-foot-10-inch, 180-pound Tatar scored 25 goals last season and had a career-high 29 goals in 2014-15.
He is signed through the 2020-21 season at an average annual salary of $5.3 million, making him the second-highest paid player on the Knights behind goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.
The Knights made a late push for Karlsson, but were unable to get a deal done for the two-time Norris Trophy winner prior to the noon (PT) deadline.