It doesn’t look like we’ve seen any quotes out of Detroit on the Ville Leino trade just yet so I’m basing my thoughts purely on assumptions at this point.
Ole-Kristian Tollefsen only makes $200,000 less than Leino so this move alone doesn’t solve the Red Wings’ cap problems. Add in the fact that the Detroit blueline is already overloaded and you can see another move is coming.
The way I see it, there are two possibilities.
Tollefsen was acquired simply to be bought out, much like the Boston Bruins did with Patrick Eaves last summer. From what I understand, buying out Tollefsen means the Wings will have shed $500,000 from this year’s cap. Still not enough but a start.
The other option is that Tollefsen takes over as the Wings’ depth defenseman making both Brett Lebda and Derek Meech expendable. If that’s the case, the Wings will have dropped $1.333 million from their cap this season, a decent number.
This move was not about talent or potential or a need at a given position, simply a financal deal.