HSJ’s mailbag: despite young players’ promising campaigns, Wings will sell at the deadline

Of note from the Free Press’s Helene St. James‘ latest mailbag feature, in which she answers a question about the youth movement and whether the team may add at the trade deadline:

One of the biggest positives to emerge from this season is how well the rebuilding blocks have played. Dylan Larkin has emerged as a solid 200-pound center who can play both special teams, and play in any situation — and he’s only 21. Anthony Mantha has shown what a scoring touch he has, especially when he goes to the net. Andreas Athanasiou has shown what a game-changer he can be with his unique skill set of speed and hands to finish. On the second tier, I’d add Tyler Bertuzzi — he adds grit to a lineup that doesn’t have much of it, and just needs to work on his consistency (as with so many other players).

I don’t see any scenario in which the Wings are buyers at the Feb. 26 trade deadline. If they manage to do what they say they want to do — go on a run — and work their way into the Eastern Conference playoff picture (which, as I wrote this past weekend, I find doubtful), maybe they hold onto Mike Green, their top trade asset. Ultimately, though, I foresee the Wings will sell where possible. The front office knows the Wings are not contenders, that what the organization needs is a high-end draft pick.The Wings were not mathematically eliminated last year until March 28, but still sold at the March 1 trade deadline. The same needs to happen this year.


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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.