After a hot start to the season, the Detroit Red Wings have cooled off a bit. Yet, although they have won just three out of their last 10 games, their playoff hopes are not entirely crushed. However, if they want to turn things around and rise in the Wild Card standings, general manager (GM) Steve Yzerman would be wise to start working the phones. One team that he should consider doing business with is the Nashville Predators. They have drastically fallen in the standings, so perhaps they could be sellers at the deadline because of it. Alas, let’s look at three trade targets that stand out from them.
Earlier this season, Nick Kypreos reported that the Predators are open to trading Dante Fabbro for the right price (from “With Rielly out, Maple Leafs would be wise to do some early Christmas window shopping. Who’s worth a trade call?”, Toronto Star, Nov. 24, 2022). Ultimately, this makes sense, as the 24-year-old defenseman’s placement on their depth chart has fallen. However, even with this being so, the Red Wings would be wise to consider making a push for him. After all, he is a former first-round pick who has shown in the past that he is capable of playing top-four minutes. Furthermore, he had a solid 24-point campaign in 66 games for them last season, so perhaps a change of scenery could help him produce more offensively again.
When looking at the Red Wings’ lineup, it is fair to argue that Fabbro could either play on their second or third pairing. Either way, he would make their right side significantly better, so it would make a lot of sense for them to consider him. Furthermore, his steady defensive play would guarantee him time on their penalty kill, while his offensive upside could allow him to receive some power-play time. Overall, if he has a bigger role with Detroit, it could be exactly what allows him to bounce back from his underwhelming start to the 2022-23 campaign.
To acquire Fabbro, the Red Wings would likely need to part ways with a second-round pick and Gustav Lindstrom. With Fabbro still being young and having the potential to blossom into a legitimate top-four defenseman at the NHL level, I believe that this is an avenue worth exploring.
If the Red Wings are competing for a playoff spot as the trade deadline gets closer, they would be wise to bring in another goaltender. Alex Nedeljkovic has been extremely disappointing in 2022-23 thus far, as he has a 2-4-2 record, 4.09 goals-against average (GAA), and .880 save percentage (SV%) in nine games. Although the Predators would certainly not be willing to trade star netminder Juuse Saros, they may be open to moving pending unrestricted free agent (UFA) Kevin Lankinen.
Related: Red Wings’ 2022-23 Trade Targets: Columbus Blue Jackets
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After a rough 2021-22 season with the Chicago Blackhawks, Lankinen has bounced back beautifully with the Predators so far. In eight appearances, he sports a 3-4-0 record, 2.64 GAA, and an impressive .925 SV%. With numbers like these, he could be an excellent backup goaltender option for the Red Wings. Although the sample size has been small, there’s no denying that he has been significantly better than Nedeljkovic this season.
If Lankinen continues to stay this hot as the year goes on, the Red Wings would probably need to give up a third-round pick and Nedeljkovic to make this move go through. Overall, it would be a worthwhile trade to make if the Red Wings are in the playoff hunt in March, so let’s see if Yzerman decides to make a push for Lankinen.
With the Red Wings having serious injury trouble with their forward group, I’d argue that they should look to bring in another bottom-six forward at the deadline. One player from the Predators who stands out as an intriguing option is Yakov Trenin. In 27 games this season, the 25-year-old forward has seven points and a whopping 64 hits. Thus, if the Red Wings were to acquire him, he would provide them with some secondary scoring and a lot more bite.
With Trenin being able to play both center and left wing, it is fair to argue that he would fit rather well on their third or fourth line. With that, he has been noted for his solid defensive play, so he would be a very good addition to Detroit’s penalty kill. Furthermore, his excellent net-front presence ability could be enough to land him time on their second power-play unit as well.
Since Trenin is still young and possesses good upside, I believe that it would cost the Red Wings a third-round pick and prospect to acquire him. Although that is not the cheapest of prices for a bottom-six forward, it would be worth paying because of Trenin’s strong all-around game and potential.
Nevertheless, it is rather clear that the Red Wings have some intriguing trade targets from the Predators that they should consider pursuing. Out of the bunch, Fabbro would be the biggest splash, but Lankinen and Trenin could be solid pieces to add, too. Alas, we will have to wait and see if these two clubs end up striking a deal before the trade deadline passes.