Steve Yzerman and the Detroit Red Wings are a weekend away from the much-anticipated 2020 NHL Trade Deadline. And while we likely won’t see a firesale, Yzerman has the opportunity to advance the rebuild a few steps.
As usual, patience is the theme. The goal isn’t to bring in players to help today’s team. Instead, the Red Wings are focused on the future and will prioritize acquiring prospects and draft picks this year.
But before we reach Monday’s deadline, I have a few predictions for the Red Wings. Eight, in fact. Let’s dive into how I think the next few days will play out.
1. Red Wings-Flames Deal
The Calgary Flames are in town the night before the trade deadline. Chances are, Yzerman and Flames general manager Brad Treliving bump into each other at some point that night. My guess is that they’ll work out a trade Sunday night or Monday morning.
With the Vegas Golden Knights bringing in Alec Martinez, the Vancouver Canucks acquiring Tyler Toffoli, and Ken Holland likely to swing a deal up in Edmonton, Treliving will need to keep up with the Joneses somehow. Enter Yzerman.
2. No Last-Minute Scratches
Before the Red Wings acquired Robby Fabbri, they scratched Jacob de la Rose at the last second before the team faced off against the New York Rangers. There won’t be any special treatment this weekend, though. All of Detroit’s trade chips will remain in the lineup.
3. Jimmy Howard Stays Put
Hot take alert! (Not really.) Jimmy Howard may be a pending unrestricted free agent, but he’s not going anywhere. Poor stats aside, the veteran netminder hasn’t been moving around the crease well and is more of a liability at this point. No team wants to acquire that.
4. So Does Jonathan Bernier
The Red Wings will opt for stability and keep Jonathan Bernier as well. Since goalies don’t fetch much at the deadline, Detroit won’t get an offer compelling enough to deal their MVP. Instead, Bernier will enter the 2020-21 season as the starter with a new acquisition backing him up.
5. Yzerman’s Covert Operations
You’re not going to hear about a Red Wings trade until it happens. No leaks. No rumors. Yzerman operates in secrecy and will not share any clues about his intentions. So sit back and relax. No insider is going to tip us off on a Red Wings trade until it actually happens.
(Editor’s note: The original prediction had Detroit trading cap space to acquire David Backes and a draft pick. The Anaheim Ducks followed through on a similar trade two hours after this article published.)
6. Red Wings Headed Out of Town
I covered which trade chips are staying, so here’s who will be dealt.
Mike Green’s offensive outburst against Montreal reaffirmed my belief that he’ll be traded. The same goes for Trevor Daley – who doesn’t want a depth defenseman with a Stanley Cup ring this time of year?
As for Andreas Athanasiou, the next two games will determine his fate. If he scores a couple more goals, doesn’t have any defensive zone blunders, and continues to be a driver for his line, a GM is going to pull the trigger and overpay for his services. If not, then Yzerman will wait until the offseason to make a decision.
7. Nick Jensen Reunion
During a recent 31 Thoughts podcast, Elliotte Friedman noted the Washington Capitals could be interested in moving former Red Wing Nick Jensen, who is under contract for another three seasons with a $2.5 million AAV. He also mentioned the Capitals may be considering a reunion with Green. Might they be part of the same deal – Jensen and a mid-round pick for Green, with half of his salary retained by the Red Wings? Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
8. Red Wings’ Blue Line Prospects
Post-deadline, we’ll see Moritz Seider in Hockeytown. Full disclosure, this isn’t a guaranteed thing just yet – it’s merely my prediction.
MLive’s Ansar Khan recently chatted with Jeff Blashill on the possibility of Seider getting the call up:
“There’s factors in play — where Grand Rapids is at, what’s best for his development. It would be hard-pressed for me to see them totally secure a playoff spot; it usually comes down to the end. Steve [Yzerman] and I have had conversations about the possibility (of recalling Seider), but we’ve made no definitive decisions on whether or not that will happen.”Jeff Blashill to MLive’s Ansar Khan
Fellow rookie Gustav Lindstom isn’t going anywhere, though. The 21-year-old defenseman is in the second year of his entry-level contract, so the Red Wings don’t need to worry about a nine-game limit in Detroit.
What are your Detroit Red Wings predictions for the trade deadline? Share your thoughts below.
Get the latest Detroit Red Wings news, rumors, commentary and analysis
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.