The Detroit Red Wings missed again in free agency, and it is time to take drastic action to avoid becoming just another city with a hockey team. That action should be a trade to acquire Anaheim Ducks forward Bobby Ryan or Columbus Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash.
The Red Wings need to land a prominent name to come in and help this veteran team become competitive again. This team needs an infusion of talent, and some help scoring goals. Either Ryan or Nash would do that, and more. It would be a new toy for the Red Wings players, and it would bring some excitement to the team.
This team needs something, as it has appeared lifeless at times over the past few years. Without any tangible change, an early exit from the playoffs is what awaits the Red Wings. Without something new, there is not much reason to think that the Wings can contend for a Stanley Cup championship.
The fanbase also needs it, as the Red Wings look like they are no longer wanted, and rejection is not something that Red Wings fans have felt before. The Red Wings are suddenly the girl that nobody wants to dance with, leaving the fans with a sense of confusion, and a sense of utter disbelief.
The two biggest fish in the 2012 NHL free agent pond ended up somewhere other than Detroit, and it has some talking about how the Red Wings are no longer a free agent destination for hockey players. There is speculation that the Wings are no longer an attractive option.
Jeff Seidel of The Detroit Free Press wrote an article questioning whether the Red Wings were losing luster as a free-agent destination. It has been a long time since these kinds of questions were asked about this team.
It feels as if players that have a choice to come to Detroit do not want to anymore. At one time, Detroit was the place that every free agent wanted to play. The Red Wings have not signed a high profile free agent since Marian Hossa signed here on July 1, 2008.
If the Red Wings want to make a significant splash during this offseason, it appears that it will have to happen via a trade. The team has been linked to both Ryan and Nash, and the Red Wings would have to be aggressive in either trade scenario. Both would be costly moves, but the Wings can’t afford to enter the 2012 season with its current makeup.
Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch has reported that Rick Nash has a list of six teams that he is willing to play for, and the Red Wings are on the list. The addition of Nash would help the Red Wings spend some money, as they need to get to the salary cap floor. Nash is under contract until the 2017 season with an annual cap-hit of $7.8 million.
Bruce Garrioch of The Ottawa Sun is reporting that the Red Wings are among six teams that will make a pitch for Ryan. Interested teams are the Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Ottawa Senators.
Ryan is under contract through the 2015 season, with a cap hit of $5.1 million per season according to CapGeek.
The Red Wings have enough pieces to make either of these moves. The price of Nash would be much higher than that of Ryan, but he will not come cheap either. Remarkably talented NHL players can only be acquired at a hefty cost, and the price that the Wings would have to pay might scare some off.
To acquire Ryan or Nash, the Red Wings would have to offer players that are currently on their NHL roster and prospects that are a few years away from making an impact. This is a heavy price, but a price the Red Wings should pay.
The Red Wings are an aging group, but they are still a terrifically talented hockey team. They are in need of some change, and the best way for them to get that change is to trade for one of these goal scoring studs.
They need more offense, and the addition of one of these players would do wonders for the Red Wings. It would also soothe the fanbase, and allow it to feel like it is among the elite again.