Trade Deadline Thoughts

The National Hockey League’s 2016 trade deadline came and went on Monday with the Red Wings refraining from making a move. For the most part, I’m okay with that.

Saturday’s trade of Jakub Kindl to the Florida Panthers for a sixth-round draft pick was a great move. GM Ken Holland unloaded the salary of a player who would probably never play for the Red Wings again and actually got an asset in return.

Kindl became expendable with the emergence of Alexey Marchenko and Xavier Ouellet, both of whom had passed Kindl on the Red Wings’ depth chart and both of whom will have to clear waivers to be assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins next season.

Assuming Kyle Quincey is not re-signed this summer, there will be room on the Detroit roster in 2016-17 for both Marchenko and Ouellet – but not Nick Jensen, who has yet to get a real look at the NHL level (he was a healthy scratch during his call-up earlier this season).

So the Kindl move makes sense on several levels. From there the Red Wings could decide to either load up for a playoff run, as they traditionally do, sell off any additional parts, which they rarely do, or stand pat.

Unless an exceptional deal to add a piece came along, I’d have liked to see them deal away Brendan Smith. His name came up as a player who would be available at the deadline, often compared to Kris Russell. With Russell fetching Jyrki Jokipakka, Brett Pollock, and a conditional second round pick, I’m really curious as to what Holland turned down for Smith, assuming anyone called. Smith has seemingly been demoted to being the Red Wings’ seventh defenseman and $2.25 million is too much to pay for someone who’s in the pressbox most nights.

I’m sure Holland thinks he can keep Smith for the run to the playoffs and then deal him at the draft but I’m not sure the market will be as favorable then.

I didn’t want to see the Red Wings load up without an exceptional deal because, frankly, this team is too many missing pieces from being a Stanley Cup contender. It’s possible they ride Petr Mrazek to an extended playoff run but without that, they’re not going to go far. It would have taken something like a trade for Eric Staal, combined with Staal returning to his early-career form, to be enough. Looking at the players traded on Monday, none of the, would have been enough on his own.

Quick Goals Give Red Wings Win over Blue Jackets

The Detroit Red Wings rallied from a 2-1 deficit Wednesday night with three goals in a 1:16 span en route to a 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The win, combined with the Phoenix Coyotes’ defeat of the Nashville Predators, puts the Red Wings in fifth place in the Western Conference with two games remaining in the season.

Tomas Holmstrom scored two power play goals and Danny Cleary added an even-strength tally that proved to be the game-winner.

Holmstrom’s first goal came 8:05 into the third, when a Henrik Zetterberg shot deflected past Columbus goalie Steve Mason off of Holmstrom’s skate.

His second came 40 seconds later, tipping Nicklas Lidstrom‘s one-timer from the high slot past Mason.

Cleary scored just 36 seconds later, snapping a shot from the slot past Mason into the top of the net.

Mike Blunden pulled the Jackets to back within a goal with 9:47 left in the third, weaving between defenseman Jonathan Ericsson and Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard to slide the puck in the open side of the net.

The Blue Jackets could not tie things back up, however, even with Mason pulled for an extra attacker in the game’s final minute.

The Red Wings had opened the game’s scoring just 2:32 into the first period, when Niklas Kronwall whipped a shot past Mason from the high slot off of a backhand feed from Todd Bertuzzi.

R.J. Umberger tied the game at 8:58 of the first, capitalizing on a rare giveaway by Lidstrom to jump into the Detroit zone and roof a chance over Howard.

Samuel Pahlsson took advantage of another turnover, spinning to fling a shot past Howard from the left faceoff circle after Andreas Lilja failed to control the puck.

The Red Wings finished the night two-for-five on the power play while Columbus went scoreless on one power play attempt.

Howard made 21 saves on 24 Columbus shots. Mason stopped 31 of 35 shots faced.

The two teams will meet again in Columbus on Friday.


Columbus was without captain Rick Nash, out with neck and back stiffness… Eaves and Kris Russell fought late in the first period.

Franzen Scores as Red Wings Sweep Blue Jackets

Johan Franzen scored in the game’s final minute Thursday night, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 6-5 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets and finishing off a four-game sweep of their Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup.

Franzen’s goal came on a late power play after the Blue Jackets were called for too many men on the ice. Jiri Hudler pushed to the front of the net from the left side and Franzen followed him up, banging in a rebound with 47 seconds remaining.

The goal put Detroit back in front after they gave up a two-goal lead for the second time in the game.

The Red Wings led 3-1 after the first twenty minutes of the game, taking the lead on goals by Nicklas Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom and Dan Cleary while Kristian Huselius scored for Columbus.

The Blue Jackets scored four times in the second period, rallying twice when their season seemed over.

Rick Nash tipped in a goal at 1:44 of the middle frame and R.J. Umberger added another at 5:38 to tie things up.

Marian Hossa scored two consecutive goals to put Detroit back in the lead but Kris Russell and Fredrik Modin countered.

It was the first game of the series in which the Blue Jackets scored more than one goal.

Columbus netminder Steve Mason stopped 35 of 41 shots against while Detroit goalie Chris Osgood made 27 saves on 32 shots.

The Red Wings will now wait to see the outcome of the series between the San Jose Sharks and the Anaheim Ducks to know who they will face in the next round. The Wings will face the Ducks if Anaheim wins or the Vancouver Canucks if San Jose does.


Detroit was without Kris Draper for the fourth-straight playoff game.