The Detroit Red Wings have agreed to terms on a three-year, $9.538 million contract with unrestricted free agent Trevor Daley. The deal was reported ahead of the start of free agency which officially started at 12:00 PM EST on Saturday. Fresh off of a Stanley Cup victory with the Pittsburgh Penguins in each of the last two seasons, Daley is now set to join the Red Wings as they looked to return to prominence after missing the postseason for the first time in 26 seasons.
Trevor Daley to DET.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2017
Daley was originally drafted by the Dallas Stars in the second round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. Making his debut the next season with the Utah Grizzlies of the AHL, scoring eight goals and 14 points in 40 games while also playing in 27 NHL games, scoring one goal and six points. A return to the AHL the following season during the NHL lockout saw Daley score seven goals and 34 points in 78 games, foreshadowing the type of production he’d eventually have at the NHL level.
In 894 career games, Daley has scored 78 goals and 278 points split between the Dallas Stars, Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins. A mobile defender, Daley has never been a top-tier game-changing blueliner. What he can do, however, is move the puck effectively from Point A to Point B, whether through his skating or through pin-point passing. Following spending 11 seasons with the Stars, Daley was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in the trade that saw Patrick Sharp get dealt to the Stars.
Failure to Catch on in Chicago and Resurgence in Pittsburgh
After joining the Blackhawks, Daley immediately looked out of place in the Blackhawks system. It was clear that he wasn’t a fit for what the team was doing. In 29 games, Daley was unable to record a goal and posted only six assists. The Blackhawks regrouped and traded Daley to the Pittsburgh Penguins while acquiring Rob Scuderi. This was the best case scenario for Daley has he went on to score six goals and 22 points in 53 games with Pittsburgh before going on to win the first Stanley Cup Championship of his career. Just one year later, Daley scored five goals and 19 points in 56 games and was able to hoist his second Stanley Cup Championship.
Now joining the Red Wings at 33 years old, Daley is going to be joining a team that struggled for much of the 2016-17 season. While the Red Wings can still find a way to compete in the 2017-18 season in an Atlantic Division that isn’t considered to be as strong as some of the other divisions in hockey. Still, this short-term deal appears to be a way for the Red Wings to expose some of their young players to a player with a winning pedigree in Daley as they look to continue developing in the coming years.