The Athletic’s Craig Custance broke down the Red Wings’ trading of Tomas Tatar and retention of Mike Green this morning. Custance confirms that Green’s neck injury prevented a deal from happening, and he discusses the reasons why the Tatar deal did happen:
“He can play all over the lineup,” [Vegas GM George] McPhee told The Athletic on Monday night. “First line, second line, right wing, left wing. He scores goals and plays hard enough and competes.”
McPhee had seen plenty of Tatar over the course of the last year. He spent many nights in Joe Louis Arena last season in buildup towards the expansion draft. He was spotted recently at Little Caesars Arena while passing through town en route to the Top Prospects game in January.
He liked Tatar. So did his pro scouting staff. And so Sunday, the two sides touched base again, although it would be a stretch to say either side was optimistic a deal was getting done at that point.
“Kenny didn’t have to trade him,” McPhee said. “He was under no pressure in that way. And so until he got what he wanted and until I got to a place where I was comfortable, it (wasn’t happening.)”
The Red Wings wanted a prospect as part of the deal. That was a no-go for a Vegas franchise that has only one draft under its belt. If this deal was happening, they were dealing from their draft pick surplus not thinning out a fledgling prospect list.
Custance continues (paywall)…