The Free Press’s Helene St. James spoke with Red Wings GM Ken Holland regarding his trade deadline outlook:
While players and coaches concern themselves with making a playoff push, general manager Ken Holland is among 10 Wings personnel scouting the Five Nations tournament in Plymouth. The tourney features top players under the age of 18 from the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden and the United States, and the majority of them are eligible for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
Holland also is juggling phone calls as the Feb. 26 trade deadline inches closer.
“I’m working the phones, I’m trying to see what the other teams in the league are thinking,” Holland said. “We are obviously not a buyer, we are not spending future assets to try to get in. We’ll see here over the next week what direction we are going, but I am aware we are eight points out and games are running out.”
The next four games — Tampa Bay, Nashville (Saturday on the road and next week at home) and Toronto — come against three of the best teams in the NHL. Even if the Wings build on their 2-0-1 streak, it is unlikely to sway Holland to not be a seller. There’s interest in defenseman Mike Green — including from the Lightning — and in forward Gustav Nyquist; both would have to approve a trade. There also has been interest in goaltender Jimmy Howard, but backup Petr Mrazek has not sparked much interest.
“I’ve talked to lots of teams over the last week and 10 days, and I’m doubling back with a number of them,” Holland said. “We’d like to get assets, open up spots for a kid or two for next season.”