NHL Trades: Kyle Quincey Makes Red Wings Clear Stanley Cup Favorites

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2012

ANAHEIM, CA - JANUARY 22:  Kyle Quincey #27 of the Colorado Avalanche shoots the puck from the point during the NHL game against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on January 22, 2012 in Anaheim, California. The Ducks defeated the Avalanche 3-2.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

The Detroit Red Wings have established themselves as the clear Stanley Cup favorites by acquiring Kyle Quincey without giving up anybody from the pro roster.

Detroit already possessed one of the NHL's most potent offensive attacks led by Pavel Datsyuk. Quincey will take the team's defense to an elite level as well. The 26-year-old Canadian defenseman will easily be one of the most underrated deadline additions.

All the Red Wings had to give up to get him was Sebastien Piche, a middling prospect struggling at the AHL level, and a first-round pick. The team's selection will be near the end of the round, though, so it's not a major loss.

That's a small price to pay when you consider what Quincey will bring to the table immediately. He's literally fills the final hole on Detroit's roster.

Ignore his minus-one rating, that's a product of playing for the Colorado Avalanche and will surely improve in a Red Wings uniform. He's a solid defender who can be trusted in key situations, and also brings some offense to the table.

Prior to the trade the Red Wings were in a tight three-team race with the New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks for the Presidents' Trophy. Now it would be a surprise if Detroit didn't capture the trophy.

There isn't a more complete team from top to bottom in the league than Detroit. Everybody on the roster serves a purpose and, while they aren't all household names, they illustrate the team concept perfectly.

It's no surprise the Red Wings have established themselves as the model NHL franchise. The Quincey trade is a perfect example. Instead of chasing one of the big names on the market, they targeted a rock-solid defenseman for a reasonable price and got it done a week early.

They rarely make the biggest trades or the highest-profile free-agent signings, which is smart because teams tend to vastly overpay in those situations. They develop their own prospects and make smaller, more efficient moves to fill holes.

So while other franchises, which will inevitably bow out in the playoffs long before Detroit, are busy dealing elite prospects for overpaid veterans, the Red Wings are gearing up for their third trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in five years.

Don't be surprised when Quincey is making key defensive plays while his fellow traded players are on the golf course. It's the Red Wing way.