THN’s Clinton talks about the Red Wings’ possible deadline moves

The Hockey News’s Jared Clinton penned an article in which he discusses 5 teams which may be the “biggest sellers at the deadline,” and Clinton spotlights the Red Wings as one of those possible sellers:

Like the Sabres, the Red Wings stand to be one of the deadline’s biggest winners by possessing one of the big-name trade assets. In fact, Detroit has the most sought after defenseman on the market in Mike Green. The going rate for Green isn’t as obvious as the rate for Kane, but if the price paid by the Capitals for Kevin Shattenkirk at last season’s deadline is any indication, it’s not going to be cheap to bring the veteran defender aboard. Washington had to send a first-round pick (later traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in the Brayden Schenn trade), conditional second-round pick, Brad Malone and Zach Sanford to the St. Louis Blues to bring Shattenkirk in. It wouldn’t be altogether shocking to see a similar package come Detroit’s way for Green.

The Red Wings could also consider moving out a few other players, however. The two likely to bring back the biggest return are Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist. Relatively established scorers in Detroit, both could draw interest from teams looking to add to their top six and acquire some additional scoring punch. All things being equal, Tatar would probably be the better acquisition of the two as he has historically put up better goal-scoring numbers — he has 87 goals and 169 points over the past three-plus seasons to Nyquist’s 71 goals and 169 points over the same span — but the former is having the better season in 2017-18 and has a contract that is much more palatable. Whereas Nyquist is on the books for this season and next at $4.75 million per year, Tatar’s contract runs through to the end of 2020-21 at $5.3 million per season.

Finally, the Red Wings may explore options for goaltender Petr Mrzaek. He is earning $4 million and will become an RFA with arbitration rights after this season. It appears he’s not long for Detroit, and the deadline could be the perfect opportunity to move him out and maximize the return.

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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.

3 thoughts on “THN’s Clinton talks about the Red Wings’ possible deadline moves”

  1. That was quite the haul for Shattenkirk last season. I have no idea what Green can bring for Detroit but Holland has to be willing to pull the trigger for as much as he can get. Except for one little problem: Green has a no trade clause so he gets to decide where he wants to go. Holland has to move him, and hopefully he agrees to go to the team offering the most, but even if he just goes for something that’s better than nothing.

    If anyone wants Nyquist and his $4.75 MM for one more season and he’s willing to waive his NTC to go to a contender I think the price would have to be fair to really nice. Though I’m fine with fair because the Wings need room on the roster to keep plugging in kids as fast as possible so they don’t rot in the minors. The old over-ripening trick has become a proven failure as players reach their prime years sooner than they used to and need those precious early 20’s to get accustomed to NHL level play while they can still reach their primes.

    Nyquist peaked when Babcock was still deciding if he was ready in his early 20’s. Now he is what he is: Average with some occasional moments of brilliance. He could help someone win if he can put it together at the right moment, but he can’t help Detroit rebuild playing here. He can best help bringing back a return.

    Tatar has a full NTC that kicks in after this season followed by two years of a modified NTC. He costs more that Nuquist at $5.3 MM/year for the next 3 years, but that’s to be expected since prices go up and Holland pays in full. If anyone wants him, again, he’s got to go. Like Nyquist, Tatar peaked when he was fighting to play here and then fighting to play on a top scoring line instead of the fourth line. Now he’s 27. He’s probably not getting better.

    Sure Josh Bailey is having a career year for the Islanders at 28, but like Jason Blake before him he’s in a contract year. He’s playing with John Tavares who is 28 and also in a contract year and may also be having a career year. Big surprise.

    If someone wants Tatar, Holland needs to get whatever they are willing to give because his roster space is worth more than his average to occasionally above average play as a spot to rotate in whomever the Wings have in Grand Rapids so they can evaluate their kids while they are still young enough to adapt to the NHL.

    What a dream deadline to trade Green and lose at least one of these two forwards holding up potential talent from coming up from Grand Rapids. Green absolutely has to go. He’s 32 years old, likely made his last all-star game, and is lucky to have been healthy enough to be the Wings best defenseman this season.

    Green can definitely help a team win the Stanley Cup this season. And he’s young enough for someone (maybe that same team) to sign to another three year contract. If Holland works the trade right he could get more if the team he trades Green too re-signs him (as unlikely as that is).

    The big problem is money. Holland may have to keep some money to trade any or all of those players and teams are limited to retaining up to 3 contracts per season (I don’t think buyouts count in that total). That means at least Green would come off the books this summer. The other two probably not until their existing contracts expire in 1 (Nyquist) and 3 (Tatar) years respectively.

    The thing I can’t stand is talk of moving Mrazek. Mrazek is 25 and seemingly playing like a starter again heading into restricted free agency. Howard will be 34 and in the final year of his contract next season. Howard recently found his starting ability again and is finally worth something. I don’t think he’ll get moved at the deadline by come the end of the season I would think he’d be highly sought after by teams needing a short term starter for almost $5.3 MM. It’s possible the Wings will have to hold onto some salary simply because the team that trades for Howard might not have enough cap space to make a clean deal.

    Going into next season with $10 MM tied up in goaltending cannot happen but choosing the older Howard vs. the just entering his prime Mrazek (goalies and defensemen still enter their primes later than forwards) would be disastrous in a few years. Even if Howard can stay healthy for another 3-4 years why would anyone want to sign him to a long term contract that will start at 35 years old? Why take the chance on a goalie who gets hurt too much and may have to finish on the IR because of the over-35 contract rule? And who will take either goalie’s place as the starter in a few years?


    The Wings don’t have anyone who can take over for either of their NHL goalies. They might have some backups, but not one starter in the system that I see anyone touting at this time. So if there is no other young goalie to take over for Howard than Mrazek the Wings (who need to go into full rebuild mode) need to re-sign Mrazek and get something for Howard who might be able to help another team make a cup run before he breaks down for good.

    What’s likely to happen right now?

    Green should get traded. That’s it.

    Tatar might, might get traded before his NTC kicks in but Nyquist didn’t so I wouldn’t count on that unless Ilitch makes a big move that changes philosophy at GM while Tatar can still be moved.

    Howard will be unprotected and is the logical choice to move, and maybe with nobody to look over his shoulder for, Mrazek settles in and becomes the goalie we’ve seen flashes of. If not the Wings are just as messed over if they choose to move the younger Mrazek and keep the older, almost broken down Howard.

    Nyquist, with one year left, would be wise to demand a trade to a contender before the draft if he truly wants to win. I doubt it will happen here and if Holland is still around after this season that’s probably the only way Nyquist gets moved. Nyquist should also be thinking about what his next contract could look like if he gets traded to a team with a center that can make him look like an all-star. It should be obvious he’s not seen as a winger for Larkin here.

    It truly is amazing what a contract year can do for the right player in the right situation. Didn’t work for Tatar because this was the wrong situation.

    Here’s hoping for the best and preparing for nothing. At least we can watch the kids continue to grow. I’ve been enjoying that this season, as hard as some games have been to watch.

  2. I am not too quick to pull plug on Mrzack. He has bounced back and played well in the last month, except for 5 minutes versus the Islanders. He is cheaper, Athletic, considerable younger and could be in net when Wings get better. Howard has had a good season, yet is considerably older, more expensive and injury prone. He could fetch a better return in short run.

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