Wings’ Trade Deadline Recap

The 2012 NHL Trade Deadline may not have brought what Red Wings fans wanted but that doesn’t mean the Wings made the wrong moves.

As far back as last summer, fans were salivating over the idea of having virtually unlimited cap space at the trade deadline. With over $22 million available to spend, there would be no player Ken Holland would be unable to afford. After years of Detroit being unable to add a significant piece on the final day of NHL trading, the shoe would be on the other foot.

And then nothing happened.

With cap space to spend, Holland couldn’t find any trading partners. Unlike in previous years, there were no superstars on non-playoff teams in the last year of their contract to be had as rentals. No Ilya Kovalchuk, no Marian Hossa.

The Washington Capitals weren’t set to trade Alexander Semin, the New Jersey Devils had already stated they wouldn’t move Zach Parise and the surging Anaheim Ducks weren’t going to give up Teemu Selanne.

With those options unavailable, the Red Wings stuck to smaller moves. In two deals with the Tampa Bay Lightning, one last week and one today, Holland turned Mike Commodore, Sebastien Piche and a first round pick into Kyle Quincey and a conditional seventh-rounder. It’s an upgrade at the blue line with the potential to be more than a rental, as Holland has already stated that the Wings will at least tender Quincey a restricted free agent qualifying offer.

Detroit’s rivals made more moves, notably the Nashville Predators.

The Predators had acquired Hal Gill on February 17, then added Andrei Kostitsyn and Paul Gaustad up front today. They paid a hefty price, giving up Blake Geoffrion, a first-round pick, and two second-rounders.

In essence, Nashville paid as much for fourth-line, free agent forward Gaustad – a rental – as the Red Wings did for restricted free agent defenseman Quincey – a non-rental.

So I’m okay with Holland standing pat. I would have liked a move for a depth forward; I’d been thinking former Wing Mike Knuble could be a good fit for cheap but as he wasn’t moved at the deadline, I have to think either he wasn’t available or the Capitals were asking too much from everyone.

I’m also not going to lie – I am concerned that Nashville, Chicago, Vancouver and San Jose all added players while the Red Wings didn’t. Those teams got better and got deeper. The Red Wings got better but are not a deep team.

That last note will be proven tomorrow in Columbus. Jonathan Ericsson is already out with a broken ankle and now Quincey has a sore groin. Brendan Smith has been called up and will be in the lineup, along with Jakub Kindl. Another defensive call-up could be necessary if Nicklas Lidstrom, who didn’t practice today, can’t go.

Or maybe these late-season injuries will prove the depth the team can call on from Grand Rapids and show that a trade wasn’t necessary.

Red Wings’ Winning Streak Ends in Nashville

The Detroit Red Wings’ winning streak ended at four games Saturday night as they dropped a 3-1 decision to the Nashville Predators. The win clinched Nashville’s victory in the season series between the two teams.

The Predators scored three consecutive goals to pick up the win after Detroit took a 1-0 lead in the first period.

Blake Geoffrion tipped a Patric Hornqvist pass past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard from inside the crease at 8:42 of the second period to get Nashville on the board.

At 8:12 of the third period, Jonathan Ericsson blocked a Hornqvist shot but the puck bounced right to Jonathon Blum, who beat Howard for a power play goal and a 2-1 lead.

David Legwand added an empty net goal in the game’s final moments.

Detroit’s lone goal came with 22 seconds remaining in the first, when Danny Cleary tipped a pass from Henrik Zetterberg past Pekka Rinne, a power play goal.

The Red Wings thought they had opened the game’s scoring on a previous power play when Niklas Kronwall fired a shot past Rinne but it was called back for goaltender interference on Tomas Holmstrom.

Detroit went one-for-three on the power play while Nashville scored on one of two chances.

Howard stopped 36 of 38 shots against on the night. Rinne made 39 saves on 40 shots.


Detroit was without Pavel Datsyuk (lower body injury), Johan Franzen (unspecified injury), Jiri Hudler (flu) and Ruslan Salei (family leave). Due to the scratches, they played with only eleven forwards, seventeen skaters total.