It’s already been a busy week for the Detroit Red Wings. First, they traded arguably their best player at the trade deadline. Then, they shocked the powerhouse Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 Monday night, just hours after the Anthony Mantha trade. What’s next? Get caught up on the latest Red Wings news and rumors to find out.
Blue Jackets Had Interest in Mantha
According to Aaron Portzline of The Athletic, the Columbus Blue Jackets also pursued Mantha to some degree. He did not specify what the return could have been.
I’m curious if the discussion centered around a Mantha-for-Patrik Laine deal. It’s no secret that Laine has not lived up to expectations in Columbus. The goal-scoring winger has only produced six even-strength tallies in 34 games as a member of the Blue Jackets.
In addition, the Blue Jackets also have three first-round picks in this year’s draft after dealing away David Savard and Nick Foligno. Columbus’ own first rounder could have been appealing with the Blue Jackets not expected to make the playoffs this season.
But since nothing ever materialized, we can only speculate as to what Yzerman and Columbus GM Jarmo Kekäläinen discussed – or if the talks even extended beyond an initial offer.
Additional Notes on the Mantha Trade
- The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta reported that the Los Angeles Kings also called about Mantha, but did not divulge any other details.
- The decision to trade Mantha was made only recently, according to Darren Dreger.
- ESPN’s Emily Kaplan and Greg Wyshynski gave the Red Wings an A+ for the Mantha-Vrana trade. (from ‘2021 NHL trade deadline: Grades for all the biggest deals’ – ESPN+ – 4/12/21)
- The Athletic’s Dom Luszczyszyn and Corey Pronman gave the Red Wings an A+ and A-, respectively, for the trade. (from ‘NHL trade grades: Capitals overpay for Anthony Mantha in deal with Red Wings’ – The Athletic – 4/12/21)
Rasmussen Heating Up
Don’t look now, but Michael Rasmussen is starting to make an impact for the Red Wings. The 21-year-old center had an impressive series against the Hurricanes – he was on the ice for five of Detroit’s seven goals. Rasmussen also recorded two primary assists on Monday, including a powerful net drive-and-dish to Adam Erne:
During his post-trade deadline press conference, general manager Steve Yzerman mentioned Rasmussen as one of the players the Red Wings need to build around. If he continues to play like this, it’s fair to pencil Rasmussen in for a middle-six center role next season.
That said, there’s still work to be done with Rasmussen’s development. Faceoffs, using his size to create space, and slowing the game down to make plays are three areas of focus that the hulking center should prioritize down the stretch.
Deals Coming for Bernier & Glendening?
In addition to the Mantha trade, Yzerman was also asked during the press conference about his pending free agents and if he’s open to re-signing any of them. He stopped short of providing a definitive answer, stating that he’ll wait until after the season to make any decisions.
Considering the fact that neither Luke Glendening nor Jonathan Bernier were moved at the trade deadline, it’s possible—if not, likely—that the two are re-signed this offseason.
Glendening is in the final year of a four-year contract that has a $1.8 million cap hit. Turning 32 later this month, the center has been a fiery competitor for the Red Wings while they rebuild, providing leadership on and off the ice. Re-signing Glendening to a one- or two-year contract with a $1.5-$1.8 million cap hit makes sense for both sides.
As for Bernier, a one- or two-year contract is a logical fit here as well. The 32-year-old netminder has been Detroit’s MVP since the beginning of the 2019-20 season and there’s reason to believe he can sustain this level of play for another couple of years. Bernier’s current cap hit is $3 million, though this year’s salary is only $2.5 million – a number the Red Wings should be comfortable with moving forward.
But based on Yzerman’s comments, we’ll have to wait until the offseason to find out his plans for Glendening and Bernier – or any other pending UFAs.
More Red Wings News
- Per Yzerman, Joe Veleno is back in the U.S. quarantining after competing in Sweden this season. The organization will determine his next steps in the near future.
- Jakub Vrana and Richard Panik are expected to make their Red Wings debuts Thursday night against the Chicago Blackhawks.
- Jersey update: Vrana will wear No. 15; Panik chose No. 24.
- Tony Wolak recapped the Mantha-Vrana trade; Devin Little suggested that the Red Wings are clear winners in this deal.
- The Grind Line shared their grades for Yzerman’s latest trade deadline moves.
- Kyle Knopp identified five candidates to replace Jeff Blashill if the organization opts to go another direction with the coaching staff, plus highlighted Detroit’s consistency of being inconsistent.
Stats courtesy of NHL.com.
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.