The Associated Press’s John Wawrow penned a trade deadline wrap-up, and over the course of his article, Wawrow speaks with Ken Holland regarding the Wings’ change in deadline philosophy:
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland has suddenly come to appreciate how valuable first-round draft picks are when a team’s not in playoff contention at the NHL trade deadline.
“I’ve been on that on the other side,” Holland said, recalling Detroit’s heydays in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when the Red Wings were competing with Dallas, Colorado and New Jersey in vying to add top talent to strengthen their playoff run. “When those teams made a move, we were aware of it.”
The Red Wings were far from that position, sitting in a tie for 12th and five points out of contention, when the trade deadline struck on Monday afternoon. Though Holland wasn’t discounting Detroit’s chances of making a late-season push, he wasn’t exactly dealing from a position of strength.
Rather than adding a player, the Red Wings subtracted . They traded established forward Tomas Tartar to the Western Conference-leading Vegas Golden Knights for three draft picks, including a first-round selection.
“This wasn’t a rental in this case,” Holland said of Tatar, a three-time 20-goal-scorer with three years left on his contract. “But the trading of the first-round picks speaks to those teams that have had great years and feel that they’ve got to do something that really impacts their team.”