It's that time of year again. The time of year that certain NHL players on underperforming teams look to be moved to a team that will make a run toward the Stanley Cup. The time of year when players with expiring contracts expect every phone call to be the one that tells them that they have been dealt to another team.
The NHL trade deadline will be upon us in no time, with the last day for teams to exchange players being Monday, February 27.
One team that is in an interesting position is the Detroit Red Wings. The Wings recently broke the record for consecutive home victories, hitting 23 straight on Sunday. Overall the team is 26-2-1 at home, an amazing record at the Joe Louis Arena. However, away from the friendly confines of the Joe, they are a .500 team, going 15-15-1.
While the team sits atop the NHL standings, at this point they are not a lock to carry home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs—a fact that can't be lost on general manager Ken Holland. Holland will be under some scrutiny as the trade deadline nears.
What can we expect from one of the finest GMs in NHL history in the coming days?
Please click through to see the latest news and rumors on the Red Wings' moves. Also, keep coming back for more news, rumors and speculation as it becomes available in the days leading up to the deadline.
Pavel Kubina was rumoured to be on the Wings wish list
According to MLive.com, the Red Wings made an offer for Pavel Kubina on Saturday. The offer must have not been to Tampa Bay's liking as the Lightning moved the defenseman to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for second- and fourth-round draft picks.
Kubina would have been a depth defenseman for the team, most likely playing on the third pairing or moved in and out of the line up as needed.
Kubina has averaged a little over 22 minutes of ice time per game over his 953 NHL games.
The ice time is nice, but what Kubina would have brought to the team was size and a right-handed shot—two things the Red Wings lack on their defense.
Now that the team has made it known what they are looking for in terms of a blueliner, will they be dealing from a disadvantage? Will teams look to get the upper hand on Holland? If so, will the team stick with the defense they have?
The Detroit Red Wings started the NHL season as the oldest team in the league, with an average age of 29.9.
Being an older team is fantastic from an experience point of view. Where that age is not an advantage is on the physical side of things as the wear and tear of an 82-game season may not treat the older bodies well.
Would the team be wise to bring in some fresh, young legs at the deadline? If so, they'll have to be very careful as they will want to make sure that the players they may look at are team-first guys, players, to borrow a cliche, who see the crest on the front of the jersey as being much more important than the name on the back.
Odd that this one would follow a slide on age since Selanne is no spring chicken at 41, but he is playing much younger than his years.
There has been speculation that Selanne will be a player that the Red Wings will have in their crosshairs as the deadline nears.
On the surface, it seems that Selanne would be a great signing for the Wings. He's still a strong scorer. He's a team guy. He loves the game. He's won a Stanley Cup. In short, he's everything a Stanley Cup contender would look for.
The only question regarding Selanne is would adding such a strong, accomplished player have a negative impact on team chemistry?
The Red Wings, according to CapGeek.com, will be able to add up to $24.6 million in contracts at the trade deadline.
That's a huge amount—especially for a team that, in the pre-salary cap era, was one of the top spenders in the NHL.
The problem is that careless spending on big-dollar contracts is not always the best thing. In fact, it usually is a recipe for disaster as many teams found out during the free -pending days of the past.
Ken Holland has a dilemma on his hands heading into the deadline. Does he stand pat taking the team that sits in first place in the NHL into the playoffs as is or does he look to take advantage of the cap room that a GM like the Flyers' Paul Holmgren would kill to have?
One thing is certain: Holland is under extreme pressure, he has to make the right call and has to get the team to the Stanley Cup finals. Anything less and he'll face a summer of scrutiny.
The Red Wings are in need of some secondary scoring as well as some grit at the deadline. In that way, Travis Moen is a better fit for the team. Moen would fit in well as a third- or fourth-line grinder.
Hemsky is more of a playmaker, but does the team need a playmaker that may not fit well on the third line or do they need a grinder? Another knock against Hemsky is that he is not exactly built for a grinding game, missing significant time due to past injuries.
Moen is currently injured and if he remains on the shelf, interest in him will surely wane.
At this moment, both Moen and Hemsky are most likely players of interest for the Wings, so these two will both bear watching as the deadline nears.