Now that it’s February, the trade deadline is just around the corner for the Detroit Red Wings.
In prior years, Ken Holland would kick tires in an effort to see who he could bring to Hockeytown. Now, Steve Yzerman will be working the lines to move players out of Detroit.
Since this season hasn’t been much fun, I thought I’d spice things up a bit. I borrowed Yzerman’s title and worked The Hockey Writers’ Slack channels for some deals. I’ll admit, the Red Wings don’t have as many enticing assets as last season, but that didn’t stop me from stockpiling picks and prospects.
How did the trades come to fruition? Find out below.
Red Wings & Rangers Exchange Prospects
Jeb Biggart and I got together to work out a Red Wings-Rangers trade involving goaltender Alexander Georgiev. The Red Wings don’t have much in the pipeline when it comes to goalies, so Georgiev would be a huge add for Hockeytown.
TW: We’re intrigued by Georgiev and it sounds like you’re interested in dealing him. What kind of return are you looking for?
JB: Looking at a few past comparable trades of Georgiev, I’d be looking for a 19-23-year-old roster player that can be inserted into the lineup immediately and a mid-to-high-tier draft pick.
TW: I think there could be a fit here. How about this: Georgiev and Lias Andersson for Andreas Athanasiou and Gustav Lindstrom.
Now, I’ll admit Athanasiou has had an off year, but he has a solid track record and is still young. Plus, he scored 30 last season, so the offense is there.
JB: Here’s the problem with Andersson. Sure, he’s been struggling with his mental and physical health as of late and he may have requested a trade, but we’re trying hard to retain him.
Athanasiou is a nice starting point, but his value is probably at the lowest of his NHL career thus far. Plus, a 25-year-old isn’t exactly young.
TW: I actually think Athanasiou would be a great fit given his speed and finishing ability, especially if you trade Chris Kreider. Do you have a counterproposal? I think the base of a trade is there.
JB: I’m not sure Athanasiou is the guy for this trade. A guy like Dennis Cholowski, though, could be a fit. You already have Seider, Hronek, and possibly McIsaac above him on the depth chart of the future. Hirose is another guy we’re interested in.
TW: I think we’re getting close. Would you be open to Hirose and Cholowski for Georgiev and Andersson? Alternatively, we could do Hirose and Lindstrom for just Georgiev.
JB: Hirose and Cholowski for Andersson and Georgiev sounds about right in my mind.
TW: It’s a deal. Good doing business with you!
Andreas Athanasiou Shipped Out of Detroit
There were a few discussions centering around Andreas Athanasiou, with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Edmonton Oilers emerging as good trade partners. Representing the Penguins, Tyler Bowen saw an opportunity to replace one of Pittsburgh’s key contributors who is out for the season.
TW: I understand you’re looking to replace Jake Guentzel down the stretch. I think Andreas Athanasiou could be a fit, but we still value him pretty highly. What kind of assets are on the table this year for your team?
TB: With a promising draft class coming up, we’re likely going to hang on to our 2020 first-round pick, especially considering we’ve already dealt our 2020 second-rounder.
Athanasiou’s struggles this season have been concerning after his big breakout campaign in 2018-19, but we believe a change of scenery in our middle-six could be beneficial.
As for prospects, we have Valtteri Puustinen and Sam Miletic—who have both improved their value greatly over the last two seasons—readily available. Do you prefer prospects or draft picks?
TW: We’re looking to acquire both picks and prospects. Given his talent and relative youth, we still value Athanasiou highly but are willing to part with him for the right price. We’d want a solid prospect (or two) in return.
Would you be willing to trade Samuel Poulin and a conditional mid-round pick for Athanasiou?
TB: At the moment, we think Poulin’s value is a bit too high to move him for Athanasiou. Pierre-Olivier Joseph is a comparable prospect that we’d be willing to move. He was a 2017 first-round selection and is still just 20-years old.
Would Joseph and a fourth-round pick that becomes a third if Athanasiou re-signs be something you would be interested in?
TW: I think we’re getting close. How about Athanasiou for Joseph and Puustinen? Not completely sold on Joseph’s defensive game, but willing to do the deal with Puustinen added in.
TB: So Athanasiou for Joseph and Puustinen? I think we can accept that.
Edmonton offers a package centering around defenseman William Lagesson for Athanasiou.
TW: Another team I was talking with upped their ante to offer a comparable deal for Athanasiou. Would you consider a counteroffer to lock this in once and for all? How about Athanasiou for Nathan Legare straight up? If that trade works for you, it’s done – no other negotiating.
TB: Legare really impressed us in training camp and we expect him to be a key player for this franchise as soon as next year, so he is not available.
We could include a 2020 fifth-round pick to try to push this forward.
TW: Make it a fourth-round pick in 2020 and you’ve got a deal.
TB: Sounds good. Done deal.
TW: Excellent. Best of luck the rest of the way.
Red Wings Send Mike Green Home
Like Athanasiou, there were a handful of conversations about Mike Green. Zach Weissbach made it clear that the Washington Capitals want to bring back the former team leader and was able to work out a mutually beneficial trade.
TW: We’re interested in moving Mike Green and/or Trevor Daley at the deadline to a contender. Green seems like he’d be a good fit coming back to D.C. Do you have any interest in him?
ZW: We’d love to work something out to bring Green back to D.C., we’re up against the cap. We could use another defenseman as long as it doesn’t put us in a bind. He’d be a great addition to the second power-play unit as well and would take some of the stress off Orlov. What would you be looking for in return?
TW: We’re looking for picks and prospects right now. A second-round pick or Martin Fehervary plus a fourth would be ideal.
ZW: We wouldn’t be willing to part with Fehervary. Too promising of a prospect, but we would be content moving draft picks to solidify our blue line. I’d like to look at a 3rd round pick and something in the later rounds. If you are retaining half of Green’s contract that should fall into a range we can work with for the remainder of the 2020 season.
TW: Could you do Green—with half of his salary retained—for Colorado’s second-round pick that you own? I think that’s a fair compromise if we’re eating half of his salary.
ZW: We want to solidify the defensive side without trading away too much draft capital. What if we compromise and send Arizona’s third that we own, as well as a seventh-round pick in 2021 in exchange for Green with half of his salary retained?
TW: What if we deferred the second to 2021? Would that work instead of Arizona’s third this year?
ZW: I believe our offer of Arizona’s third this year and a seventh in 2021 is very reasonable. But I’ll bite and move the seventh-round pick up to a sixth to get the deal done.
TW: One more counteroffer: Green for the lower of your two third-round picks in 2020 and the lower of your two fifth-round picks in 2021. Does that work for you?
ZW: If we make it our 2021 fifth, then you have a deal.
TW: Done. Good doing business with you!
Detroit Trades Trevor Daley for a Draft Pick
Before I reached out to gauge interest in Trevor Daley, J.J. Kwiatkowski penned an article noting players the Vegas Golden Knights could target at the deadline. Daley was high on the list, so we got together to work out a deal.
JK: We have some interest in Trevor Daley. We can part with a draft pick, something in the fourth or fifth round. He’d be a nice fit, but we’re a little concerned about his injury history.
TW: That’s understandable. Since he has rejoined the lineup, Daley has been one of our best defensemen and would like a chance to play for a contender. Would you be willing to trade New Jersey’s third-round pick for him?
JK: A third might be a bit of a high price for a rental like Daley. How about our fifth-round pick?
TW: How about your 2021 fourth?
TW: Quick and easy. Great doing business with you!
Now that the mock trade deadline has passed, here’s the final summary of Detroit’s four deals:
- G Alexander Georgiev
- C Lias Andersson
- D Pierre-Olivier Joseph
- RW Valtteri Puustinen
- 2020 third-round pick (Washington or Arizona – whichever is lower)
- 2020 fourth-round pick (Pittsburgh)
- 2021 fourth-round pick (Vegas)
- 2021 fifth-round pick (Washington)
- D Dennis Cholowski
- LW Taro Hirose
- LW Andreas Athanasiou
- D Mike Green
- D Trevor Daley
While rebuilding, the goal should be to acquire picks and prospects and that’s what was accomplished here. Detroit came away from this mock trade deadline with a more well-rounded prospect pipeline and salary cap flexibility heading into the offseason.
Will the actual trade deadline end similarly for the Red Wings? Probably not, but it was a fun “what if” exercise to conduct nonetheless.
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Tony Wolak is based in the Washington D.C. area and covers the Detroit Red Wings for THW. As a former junior and college hockey player, Tony has a unique perspective on Red Wings topics.