The Grind Line: Grading Red Wings’ 2022 Trade Deadline Moves

What’s The Grind Line? Apart from the once-famous line of Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby, and either Joe Kocur or Darren McCarty, The Grind Line is also The Hockey Writers’ weekly column about the Detroit Red Wings. This week, Tony WolakDevin Little and Kyle Knopp are the muckers who make up THW’s forechecking unit and sound off on Red Wings topics.

The Hockey Writers Grind Line Detroit Red Wings Youtube

And just like that, another trade deadline is in the books. The Detroit Red Wings made three moves all together, trading three players in return for three draft picks and two roster players. While there was no big-time deal like last year when general manager Steve Yzerman sent winger Anthony Mantha to the Washington Capitals, the Red Wings were still able to add some future assets in exchange for players on expiring deals.

Related: 2022 NHL Trade Deadline: Deal Tracker

With that in mind, it’s time to grade the Red Wings’ 2021 trade deadline. Were these moves something to be excited about, or did they leave us wanting more? Our muckers shared their thoughts:

Red Wings’ Trade Deadline Deals

  • Defenseman Troy Stecher traded to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a 2022 seventh round pick.
  • Defensemen Nick Leddy and Luke Witkowski traded to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a 2023 second round pick, forward Oskar Sundqvist and defenseman Jake Walman.
  • Forward Vladislav Namestnikov traded to the Dallas Stars in exchange for a 2024 fourth round pick.

Tony Wolak: B

While it wasn’t exactly a difference-maker, the Leddy trade saw Yzerman recoup more for the defenseman than he originally doled out last summer. Given Leddy’s poor possession numbers and counting stats, that’s a win. A second-round pick, an energy player in Sundqvist, and young-ish left-handed defenseman in Walman is a solid get for a rental blueliner.

Oskar Sundqvist St. Louis Blues
Oskar Sundqvist with the St. Louis Blues (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Personally, I found it odd that the Red Wings couldn’t find a better return for Namestnikov than a fourth-round pick, considering the deals for comparable players (i.e. Marcus Johansson and Johan Larsson) earlier in the day. Then again, this was the third time Namestnikov was traded for a fourth, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.

Finally, the Stecher trade was as exciting as my trip to the grocery store.

Moving onto the non-trades, keeping Marc Staal was perfectly reasonable. He’s a respected leader in the room, and the young Red Wings need a player or two like him around.

As for Tyler Bertuzzi, I was hoping a team would make a ridiculous, Mantha-type offer, but that never materialized. Instead, the Red Wings keep him and maintain chemistry in the top-six.

Devin Little: C+

The Red Wings’ 2021 Trade Deadline is a bit of a mixed bag for me. The Leddy deal was about as good as I had hoped for, though it’s still mind-boggling to me that Ben Chiarot yielded more than Leddy. Still, the second-round pick means the Red Wings essentially got to use Leddy for free this season, and they added a couple players that may or may not find a bigger role with Detroit than they had in St. Louis. If Sundqvist and/or Walman can present some value to the Red Wings now and into the future, then this trade can go from a win to a big win.

Jake Walman St. Louis Blues
Jake Walman with the St. Louis Blues (Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images),

The Stecher trade was essentially the end result of a numbers game that he was on the wrong side of. With Moritz Seider, Filip Hronek and Gustav Lindstrom all ahead of him on the right side of Detroit’s blue line, it’s safe to assume he was going to leave in free agency this summer. If my options are a seventh-round pick or nothing, I’ll take the seventh.

Finally, as Tony pointed out, this is the third time that Namestnikov has been traded for a fourth-round pick. While I held out hopes that Yzerman could squeeze a third out of somebody, it wasn’t meant to be.

All in all, this trade deadline grades out as slightly above average for me. In a year or two, depending on what happens with Sundqvist and Walman, my grade may get bumped up to a B-.

Kyle Knopp: B+

In regards to the Stecher trade, this is a good move for a couple of reasons. First, he wasn’t seeing a lot of playing time in Detroit, and when he was, he wasn’t being as productive as he had in previous seasons. Second, although the return isn’t great, the Wings still can have a shot at finding a gem in a late round.

Troy Stecher Detroit Red Wings
Troy Stecher with the Detroit Red Wings (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

As for the Leddy deal, we all knew he was on his way out and not only did the Wings get a second for him, they also got another left-handed defenseman and a right-handed center. Yes, Sundqvist hasn’t been as effective as he was in the Blues’ 2018-19 Stanley Cup run, but I think he will be a great fit in the middle six for Detroit. Walman will likely be a solid addition to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League, but with all the other young d-men on their way in, he might have a chance to get acclimated to the NHL over the rest of this season.

Finally, the Namestnikov deal was not a bad trade, but it seems that the Wings could have gotten more in return for Namestnikov. Johan Larsson was sent to the Washington Capitals for a third-round pick, while Andrew Cogliano, Zach Sanford, and Ryan Carpenter were acquired for fifth-round selections. Derrick Brassard, a player who is projected to record fewer points than Namestnikov already has posted, was also moved for a fourth-rounder, which makes me think the Wings should have received at least a third from Dallas.

How do you grade the Red Wings’ 2022 Trade Deadline? Share your thoughts in the comments section down below!

Explore everything hockey with THW’s Hockeypedia pages.

The Hockey Writers HockeyPedia 800x120