Why Standing Pat Won’t Work at the Deadline

Red Wings’ general manager Ken Holland is on the record stating that he’s looking to trade for talent, not depth as the NHL trade deadline approaches.

I agree with that strategy. This team already has tons of depth, to the point that they’ve been pushing bottom-six forwards into the top six all season. They just gave away Kent Huskins essentially for free because they were able to sign Danny DeKeyser and also get Carlo Colaiacovo and Kyle Quincey back from injury (though Quincey isn’t due back until later this week).

Depth isn’t going to help this team. Talent is, and a move to acquire it is admirable.

If talent isn’t available, however, standing pat should not be an option for Holland. He has to switch gears and become a seller.

As assembled, this Red Wings team is good enough to make the playoffs. They can finish in the bottom half of the postseason teams and probably drop a six-game series in the first round. Their consecutive playoff appearance streak will remain intact but, with that outcome, you would hardly be able to call the season a success.

I know people will say all you really need to do is get into the playoffs and then anything can happen. Just look at the Los Angeles Kings of last season. The Kings, however, were able to add talent in the form of Jeff Carter at the trade deadline. The team as assembled prior to the trade deadline does not make that run.

Without a move to get better, the Wings will not make a run, and as such should sell.

We keep hearing that there aren’t many sellers in the market right now. Too many teams are still in the hunt. The Wings are still in the hunt, too, but I believe it’s worth risking their position this season – a season in which they’re not likely to win the Cup anyway – to put themselves in better position next season.

With defensemen at a premium, what return could Ian White fetch the Red Wings? A second-round draft pick? More?

I’d love to suggest dealing Colaiacovo as well but, as he’s been injured all year, I can’t imagine he has much trade value.

Michael Handzus just got San Jose a fourth-round pick. What would Daniel Cleary bring Detroit?

Would Mikael Samuelsson waive his no-trade clause if Holland told him “We’re buying you out this summer, here’s your chance to impress a different team?”

The Wings want to keep him, but what would Valtteri Filppula bring in trade?

I’m not suggesting Holland blow the team up. Dealing Fil would require a good return. Pending free agent Jimmy Howard isn’t going anywhere.

Clearing out a few bodies gives a chance for more of Detroit’s youth to get playing time. DeKeyser has an open roster spot. Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist remain in the lineup.

If the young guys prove they’re not ready, Holland can go back to signing veterans like Samuelsson and Colaiacovo over the summer, as he did preemptively last year.

I just don’t think doing nothing should be an option. As assembled, this team is not going to win the Cup. Either get better and take a shot at it or risk getting worse and still not winning the Cup.

Personally, I’d rather miss the playoffs this year (a deep draft year) and come back stronger next year than have two years of seventh-place finishes and first-round exits.

Red Wings Hold Off Avalanche for 3-2 Win

The Detroit Red Wings held off a third-period comeback by the Colorado Avalanche on Monday, picking up a 3-2 win just a day after dropping an embarrassing 7-1 decision to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Damien Brunner‘s second-period goal – his first in 16 games – turned out to be the game winner. Brunner scored at 9:54 of the period when Gustav Nyquist gathered up a loose puck and spun in the high slot to evade a defender, then fed Brunner in the right faceoff circle for a one-timer past Avalanche netminder Semyon Varlamov.

The goal would give the Red Wings a 3-0 lead and chase Varlamov from the crease in favor of Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

The Avs cut the lead to 3-1 at 5:52 of the third period on a power play. After a goal-mouth scramble that left Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard sprawled out on the ice, Jamie McGinn gathered up the loose puck and skated it into the slot for a shot into the open top of the net.

With just 1:18 remaining, Matt Duchene cut Detroit’s lead to one when he gloved down a clearing attempt by Brendan Smith and cut across the top of the crease to backhand a shot past Howard to make it 3-2.

Howard preserved the lead with seven seconds remaining, making a glove save on P.A. Parenteau.

Justin Abdelkader had opened the game’s scoring with 4:03 left in the first period, bunting the rebound of a Johan Franzen chance out of mid-air and past Varlamov.

Daniel Cleary made it 2-0 on a Red Wings’ power play at 6:28 of the second. Franzen fed Cleary at the top of the crease with a pass from down low to swat past Varlamov.

With Cleary’s goal, the Red Wings went one-for-two on the power play on the night. Colorado was one-for-three with the man-advantage.

Howard finished the night with 22 saves on 24 shots in earning the win. Varlamov stopped ten of 13 shots in 29:54 of play to take the loss with Gigure stopping all seven shots he faced for the remainder of the game.

After back-to-back home games, the Red Wings will next be in action with consecutive road games. They’ll visit the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night and have a rematch with the Avalanche on Friday.


Detroit was without captain Henrik Zetterberg (groin) and forward Mikael Samuelsson (upper-body)… Defenseman Danny DeKeyser was a healthy scratch for the Wings… Defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo returned from injury to make his first appearance at Joe Louis Arena this season in his first game since January 21 in Columbus.

Red Wings Deal Huskins to Flyers

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Saturday that they have traded defenseman Kent Huskins to the Philadelphia Flyers for a conditional seventh round draft pick in 2014.

Huskins suited up for the Red Wings in eleven games this season, scoring no points and taking four penalty minutes while going a minus-three. He was signed just hours before the team’s home opener, when Detroit was already down three defensemen only two games into the season.

Huskins had last played on February 24 against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

With the pending return of Carlo Colaiacovo from injury and the Red Wings’ recent signing of defenseman Danny DeKeyser, Huskins became expendable.

With Huskins dealt and DeKeyser signed, the Red Wings still have a full 23-man roster, with Kyle Quincey, Todd Bertuzzi, Darren Helm and Mikael Samuelsson all on injured reserve.

Red Wings Routed by Blackhawks in Easter Matchup

Cory Emmerton scored the only goal for the Red Wings on Sunday as Detroit dropped a 7-1 decision to the Chicago Blackhawks in an Easter matinee matchup.

Emmerton ended Chicago netminder Corey Crawford‘s shutout with 33 seconds remaining in regulation, gathering in the rebound of a Brian Lashoff shot and snapping a shot from the right faceoff circle past Crawford.

While the game ended on a positive note, it started poorly for Detroit and continued that way for the first 57 minutes of play.

Jeremy Morin opened the game’s scoring just 2:33 into the first. A Chicago shot wide of the net came off the back boards and off a skate, deflecting in front of Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard. Howard attempted to freeze the puck but couldn’t hold it, with Morin collecting it and throwing a shot past him.

Brandon Saad made it 2-0 at 3:21 of the period, faking out Howard after having been left all alone in the right circle to take a pass from Michael Frolik.

At 4:12, Jakub Kindl mishandled the puck at the side of the net and backhanded it in behind Howard for a goal credited to Dave Bolland.

The start of the second period wasn’t much better than the start of the first for Detroit, with Chicago scoring a pair of goals eight seconds apart in the first four minutes.

Off a giveaway by Jordin Tootoo at the Chicago blueline, Saad carried the puck down the left wing and into the corner before feeding Jonathan Toews in the slot for a snap past Howard, making it 4-0 and chasing the Detroit netminder in favor of Jonas Gustavsson.

Gustavsson didn’t fare any better, as Saad collected a deflected feed from Niklas Hjalmarsson in the right circle and beat him five hole to make it 5-0.

Bolland added a second goal at 7:55 of the third period, snapping a shot from the right circle past Gustavsson. Nick Leddy did nearly the same thing to make it 7-0 with 3:39 remaining.

Howard ended up with ten saves on 14 shots in 23:52, taking the loss. Gustavsson made nine saves on 12 shots in the remaining 36:08. Crawford stopped 33 of 34 Detroit chances.

Neither team scored a power play goal. The Red Wings had the only two attempts of the game with the extra skater.


The Red Wings lost forward Mikael Samuelsson to an unspecified upper-body injury after the second period. Samuelsson was playing just his third game of the season, having missed all but the first two to various injuries… Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg missed the game with a groin injury. He is expected to also miss Monday’s matchup with the Colorado Avalanche… Gustav Nyquist was the healthy scratch up front for Detroit… Danny DeKeyser was technically not a healthy scratch for the Red Wings, as his contract was not yet official as of game time… After the game the Red Wings sent Lashoff back to the Grand Rapids Griffins to make room on the roster for DeKeyser and Carlo Colaiacovo, who is returning from a conditioning stint with the Griffins. Lashoff is expected back with the Red Wings after the NHL’s trade deadline passes on Wednesday.

Pregame: Blackhawks @ Red Wings – 3/31

It’s Easter Sunday and Gordie Howe‘s 85th birthday and the Red Wings host the Chicago Blackhawks in an afternoon matchup.

In honor of Mr. Hockey’s birthday, all Detroit players will take the pre-game skate in #9 Howe jerseys, with a commemorative patch above the tip of the winged wheel crest and the player’s actual number on the opposite side (which will make for a crowded space if the C and A are kept for Zetterberg, Datsyuk, and Kronwall).

The Wings may have Mikael Samuelsson back in the lineup. In that case, Gustav Nyquist will likely be out and reassigned to Grand Rapids as Detroit would need to open up a roster spot for Samuelsson. Even with that move, there are 13 forwards in the lineup so a to-be-determined healthy scratch is expected.

On defense, the lineup is known. With Kent Huskins off to Philadelphia and Carlo Colaiacovo with the Griffins on a rehab stint, newcomer Danny DeKeyser is the lone scratch. DeKeyser is expected to make his pro debut on Thursday on the road against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Jimmy Howard gets the start in goal for Detroit.

Stupid stat time: Detroit is 12-14-5 all-time on Howe’s birthday.

Bonus stupid stat: Detroit is 13-14-4 all-time on Easter Sunday.

Game time is 12:30 PM on NBC, which means Eddie Olczyk will be covering his home team against their bitter rivals for a national audience.

Red Wings Land Free Agent DeKeyser

The Detroit Red Wings are the winners of the Danny DeKeyser sweepstakes.

The team announced on Friday the signing of the Western Michigan defenseman to a standard two-year entry-level contract. The 23-year-old was considered the top NCAA player available in the 2013 free agent class and was sought after by many teams.

DeKeyser has a long history of connections with the Red Wings. He grew up a fan of the team in Macomb and played with Detroit assistant general manager Jim Nill’s son, Trevor. With the Broncos, he was coached by Grand Rapids Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill during his rookie year. He was also invited to the Red Wings’ summer development camp during his offseasons.

In three seasons at Western, DeKeyser accumulated 12 goals and 37 assists for 49 total points.

Financial terms of the deal were not announced but are expected to carry a rookie-max cap hit of $3,775,00. Most of that will be in bonuses that cannot be reached but are factored into the cap calculation nonetheless.