With the trade deadline fast approaching, the talk surrounding the Detroit Red Wings has primarily been focused on what holes they’ll look to fill, and what pieces they may add for the stretch run. However, little acknowledgement has been given to the fact that you must give in order to receive, that in order to add a piece, they’ll have to lose one. Which brings us to the all-important question; What pieces are the Red Wings willing to lose?
Whether that lost piece is a player, a draft pick, or a combination of the 2 wont be known until a potential deal is done, but Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland has indicated recently that he’ll be reluctant to give up any early round picks. That leaves players, but which ones might the franchise be willing to part with?
Playing on the 4th line, Emmerton hasn’t yet reached his potential. With 8 points in 40 games and an average ice time of 8 minutes per game, the Red Wings would likely consider him expendable. Detroit has plenty of players that can fill the 3rd and 4th line role, and several of them are young and established, meaning there wont be space for Emmerton to take over any time soon. With the rising stock of several Red Wings prospects, Cory doesn’t look to fit into the Red Wings future plans. Already fighting Jan Mursak for a 4th line spot, Emmerton could easily be squeezed out when injured Patrick Eaves returns, making him all the more likely to be moved.
Andersson has already topped his points total from his rookie season in Grand Rapids, but hasn’t turned heads in his performances with Detroit (which are few and far between). The excitement surrounding and potential of Griffins’ points leader and fellow Swede Gustav Nyquist may push Andersson down the depth charts far enough that he becomes a player Detroit can do without. At 22, Andersson is still young and packs plenty of potential, something that could be very enticing for a team that’s looking to build towards the future.
Tied for 2nd on the Griffins in points, Tatar may be the hardest player to wrench away from the Wings, but it certainly wouldn’t be impossible to do so. Already placed on the back burner because of other prospects, Tatar’s time with Detroit may be wearing thin despite his promising play. His skating ability is his best attribute, and as he continues to develop his scoring touch and defensive game, he could become just the player a few teams are looking for.
The 31-year-old defenseman has seen his value to Detroit fall rapidly with the successes of Jakub Kindl and Brendan Smith. Janik has 181 games of NHL experience to his name which may help his cause. With 19 points in 43 games this year in Grand Rapids, the 6’2″ defender is a +16 and has proven to be capable on both ends of the ice. For a team like Columbus that has struggled to find defensemen, Janik could be a nice addition.
Brunnstrom signed a tryout contract with the Red Wings in the offseason and impressed the management enough to earn himself a 1 year contract. Since then, everything has been down hill for the Swedish forward. He has played just 5 games with the team, notching only an assist, and instead spending most of his season with the Red Wings’ AHL affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins. With 16 points in 20 games there, Brunnstrom hasn’t been exceptional, but he has been good. He’s shown plenty of potential in the past (29 points in 55 games during his rookie NHL campaign), but will teams remember the Brunnstrom that logged a hat trick in his first game, or the Brunnstrom we’ve seen lately?
Pyett has spent 4 seasons with the Griffins as a defenseman, and he too has seen his value fall as he’s been passed over by more promising players in the system. The difference, is that Pyett is just 23 years old and still has plenty of potential to be developed. The Canadian defender has been a consistent performer in the AHL thus far, though his goal total has taken a hit this season. For team willing to take a chance on a young defender, Pyett is the perfect candidate.
Will the Red Wings look for a goal-scorer? Will they add a defensemen? Only time will tell, but it’s a strong bet that one of these 6 players will be included in any transaction they participate in.
How do you feel about the prospect of Detroit making a move as the deadline approaches? Who would you like to see the Red Wings pursue, if anyone? Who would you like to see moved? Let us know in the comment section below.
Andrew is a passionate hockey fan at heart, and has been since a very young age. Residing in Michigan, he grew up with the team he currently covers at THW, the Detroit Red Wings.