The Free Press’s Helene St. James penned an odd column, praising the surge of offense from the Red Wings’ defense on one hand, and offering the this as her conclusion:
These encouraging signs are good for the current team, but it doesn’t mean the organization should scrap plans to sell as the Feb. 26 trade deadline approaches. The Wings are not Stanley Cup contenders. When a good offer materializes for Green — and his offensive prowess is exactly what appeals to teams eyeing a run for the Cup — the Wings are better off long term taking it, even as it will negatively impact this season’s team.
The Wings need a high draft pick, and they won’t have a shot at the draft lottery if they make the playoffs. Defenseman Rasmus Darlin is the prize of the 2018 NHL entry draft, but there are also blue-chip defense prospects in Adam Boqvist and Michigan freshman Quinn Hughes. Andrei Svechnikov, brother of Wings prospect Evgeny Svechnikov, could go second overall.
Last season, the Philadelphia Flyers missed the playoffs by seven points, but moved up from 13th in the draft lottery to pick second overall.
Good for the Wings to play well down the stretch. Better for the Wings to still miss the playoffs.
I get the conclusion, but I’m not quite sure how St. James gets there…