Detroit Red Wings: 6 Players Who Could Be Moved This off-Season
With things starting to quiet down around the NHL, the Detroit Red Wings still have a lot of work to do this summer. Ideally, the Red Wings would be able to keep the current roster and retool via the remaining unsigned free agents.
However, that may not be the case this summer.
If nothing can be accomplished on the free agent market, the Red Wings will have no other option but to pursue a trade or two in order to remain competitive for the 2012-2013.
While many of these players have done great while with the Red Wings, here are five players with whom Detroit should be alright with moving:
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Known by Red Wings fans as "The Mule" for his combination of toughness and scoring, Johan Franzen was the leading goal scorer for the Red Wings last year. Franzen would be the centerpiece of any big Detroit trade for a few reasons.
Franzen has shown himself to be a very consistent player, and he can help out by dishing assists almost as much as he scores. Standing at an impressive 6'3'', 223 lbs, Franzen's size is also a big asset on the trade market.
Even though he is aging, he has been known to miss only a few games a year due to injuries. Franzen is still a very marketable player given his offensive potential.
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Selected in the first round in 1997 by the Chicago Blackhawks, Danny Cleary has been a consistent player for the Red Wings for seven seasons. He has proven himself in a penalty-killing role and generally keeps his PIMs low.
Examiner.com's Mike Mouat compared him to Tomas Holmstrom in regard to his net-front presence and skill on tip-ins, something that many teams lack.
This left-shooting right winger still has good years ahead of him and would certainly garner attention in a trade package.
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Grand Rapids Griffins goalie Thomas McCollum was a highly-touted prospect, but he has not matured the way that the Red Wings would have liked him to.
As he enters the last year of his contract, McCollum could be attractive to a team who needs a low-risk goaltending prospect. He showed glimpses of his potential at the end of last season with Grand Rapids.
While it is unlikely that McCollum pushes for a starting job in the NHL in Detroit with Jimmy Howard, Jonas Gustavsson, Joey MacDonald and Petr Mrazek in the system, Ken Holland could use him as a bargaining chip either this summer or closer to the deadline.
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Defensive-minded Drew Miller's move from Tampa Bay to Detroit has worked out well for both parties. The Red Wings gained a strong skater, and Miller is fresh off his best NHL season.
I really liked George Malik's following evaluation of Drew Miller's game by MLive.com's George Malik:
"...he possesses much more speed and grit than he's shown initially. He's no Justin Abdelkader, but he's a solid hitter and a good forechecker, too."
With a small cap hit of only $837,500 (via capgeek.com), Miller would round off the "roster" side of a big trade package and could fit in nicely with many NHL clubs. The skills he brings are valuable to just about any team looking to add some depth by way of a defensive forward.
Take that alongside his improving numbers, and Drew Miller is a valuable piece in Detroit's trade arsenal.
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Patrick Eaves suffered a season-ending injury on November 16th, when he sustained a broken jaw and a concussion as well. Despite this terrible setback, the word from Ken Holland is that he is recovering and will be ready to play this fall.
It may be tricky moving a player who has been injured for so long, but the Red Wings should be okay trying to deal him.
Many teams take chances on players who have been injured, and Eaves would be a perfect candidate for a little gamble, seeing as he's proven he can play at the NHL level when healthy.
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"Mighty Mac" (as he is affectionately known as) was a huge part of the Red Wings conquest of the NHL consecutive home wins record last year.
If it were not for a pesky back injury at the end of last year. When he was called upon in the absence of Jimmy Howard, Joey MacDonald did not disappoint, and his play looked downright inspired.
While the string of awesome play may have been a Motown miracle given the high pressure circumstances, Joey MacDonald has shown that he can be a very reliable backup in the NHL.
After the Red Wings signed Jonas "The Monster" Gustovsson, MacDonald asked to be traded (on good terms) and would make any trade package sweeter.
Special thanks to Joe Kolar for helping with the creation of this slide.