By @MichaelCaples –
You win some, you lose some?
Maybe that’s not the right way of summarizing. Maybe it is.
In the rush leading up to the NHL trade deadline, the Red Wings first shipped out Petr Mrazek, and now they have traded Tomas Tatar.
The surprising thing is that they didn’t manage to trade Mike Green.
Despite being out of the line-up for the last six games with a neck injury, it was assumed that the Wings would still find a way to trade their lone All-Star representative.
Instead, they shipped out one of their star forwards – star used a little loosely, of course.
So now there’s a hole in the top-six forward group, but Green remains on the blue line. Depending on your viewpoint of draft picks, the Tatar move was a huge move for the Wings, as they acquire a first-round pick in this year’s draft, a second-round pick next year and a third-round pick in 2021 from the team who has more draft picks than they know what to do with.
A second first-round pick in a loaded 2018 NHL Draft class is great for a team that’s in the midst of a rebuild. We’re still waiting on the trade call and finality of the deal, but if it’s the Golden Knights’ pick and not a pick acquired via trade (prosportstransactions.com says the Knights only hold their own first-round pick at this point), the Wings certainly won’t be getting a second high selection. Vegas is one point behind Tampa Bay for the best points total in the NHL, so, no “No. 1 overall pick Rasmus Dahlin” coming there. It’s a deep, deep first-round of the draft this summer, though, so there’s a great chance of selecting a high-impact player even late in the first round.
That will be alongside whatever pick the Red Wings end up possessing, which, well, should be pretty high.
If you’re wondering where the Wings stand in the playoff race, they’re five points out of the final wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference after going 5-3-2 in their last 10 games. With a 26-26-10 record, there are three other teams between the Wings and No. 8-seed Columbus.
The Tatar trade reportedly does not involve the Wings keeping any of No. 21’s cap hit, either, which means $5.3 million comes off the books. Tatar was signed through the end of the 2020-21 season.
Green’s $6 million will come off the Wings’ cap situation at the end of this season, as well, as he will be an unrestricted free-agent.
That’s all important as Andreas Athanasiou, Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi are all restricted free agents this summer.
Since we’re talking contracts – Stephen Weiss still shows up with a $1,666,667 cap hit through 2020-21.
Goaltending is finalized for the duration of this season; Jimmy Howard with Jared Coreau backing him up. Coreau, by the way, is a RFA at the end of this season, too.
The blue line won’t change since there weren’t any trades. Once Green is healthy, it’s back to the usual shuffle.
Up front, the Red Wings were already alternating between Martin Frk and David Booth – that decision gets easier. Detroit could also summon another prospect. Hasn’t been the best of sophomore seasons for Evgeny Svechnikov, who has 21 points in 49 games after logging 51 last year as a rookie. Dominic Turgeon has 30 points in 52 games.
It will certainly make for an interesting end of the year for the Wings. Detroit plays in St. Louis on Wednesday to conclude February, and March is almost all on the road. The Wings will play 11 road contests in the final full month of the season, as well as five home games at Little Caesars Arena.
MiHockey will have more trade deadline coverage tonight after a media conference with Ken Holland.