Red Wings: A Look at Detroit's 5 Best Trade Deadline Deals
The trade deadline in the NHL is a place where teams have landed that last piece for their Stanley Cup run.
Last season, the Los Angeles Kings made a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets, acquiring Jeff Carter in exchange for Jack Johnson. This deal worked out for the Kings, as Carter played an instrumental role in the Kings' first Stanley Cup win in 2012.
Other times, some trades will involve draft picks—most of which will turn into players who will have marginal careers. In the case of the Detroit Red Wings, however, they weren't so lucky when they shipped their first-round pick in 2004 to the Washington Capitals for Robert Lang.
While Lang was a good player during his time, the Capitals used that pick to select puck-moving defenseman Mike Green, a vital piece of the team's back end and a high-output offensive defenseman.
So making a trades is always a crapshoot. You never know what you get until those players are out of the league.
But in the case of the Red Wings, they have a had a little luck at the trade deadline and have added pieces that were former All-Stars and vital pieces to cup runs.
Five names in particular stand out from the bunch.
Note: The year in parentheses is to dictate the season the trade was made.
5. Todd Bertuzzi (2007)
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This trade back in 2007 was actually the start of more things to come for Todd Bertuzzi in a Red Wings uniform.
Acquired from the Florida Panthers, Bertuzzi resurrected his career in a new way when he came to Detroit. He focused more on playing a two-way style of game along with showing more composure on the ice.
He still isn't afraid to drop the gloves and support a teammate, but his incident with Steve Moore back in 2004 humbled this bruiser.
In 2006-07, Bert only played eight games and had four points for the Wings.
Since then, Todd Bertuzzi has dazzled fans with his puck-handling, hard hits and incredible shootout goals.
4. Kirk Maltby (1996)
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The formation of the Grind Line was slowly taking place in the mid-'90s.
Kris Draper was brought in from the Jets for $1. Darren McCarty was becoming a fan favorite as a skilled forward who was part enforcer. And Joe Kocur was only a member of the line for the latter stage of his career in Detroit.
It was the team's hope that Kirk Maltby would be the last component to The Grind Line. He was a good skater who would wear down teams with his speed and timely scoring.
At the cost of sending Dan McGillis to the Edmonton Oilers, the Red Wings now had a player who was also instrumental in bringing four Stanley Cups to Hockeytown.
Now working as a scout for the Red Wings, there is hope that Maltby can discover a player of his caliber in the minor league hockey world—a hope that this player would be paired with Darren Helm and Jordin Tootoo, and create a new version of the Grind Line.
3. Chris Chelios (1999)
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When Chris Chelios was a Chicago Blackhawk, he was a nemesis in Hockeytown. Teams dreaded playing against him, and fans despised him for his cocky, arrogant attitude on the ice.
Yet, everything changed when a "public enemy" in Detroit was trading in his 'Hawks garb for a Winged Wheel jersey.
Back in 1999, the Red Wings were able to acquire the legendary defenseman for Anders Eriksson and two first-round picks.
It was indeed an investment, but the team would ended making a trade that bolstered the blue line for the next several years.
Chelios was a part of the championship teams back in 2002 and also in 2008. He also became involved with the front office after retirement and still owns his Cheli's Chili Bar franchise, which has two locations in metro Detroit.
Needless to say, Chelios was beloved in a town where he was once loathed.
2. Brad Stuart (2008)
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As you may have noticed, GM Ken Holland knows how to acquire impact defenseman at the trade deadline.
Brad Stuart made an immediate impact on the Red Wings when he first joined their squad following a 2008 trade from the Los Angeles Kings.
His shutdown presence and tenacious shot-blocking abilities gave the team a new edge they needed. And it was well-taken as Stuart would later play four more seasons in Detroit and win a Stanley Cup in 2008.
For a second- and a fourth-round draft pick going to the Kings, it was a win-win for both teams.
Stuart left the Red Wings in the 2012 offseason to rejoin his family in San Jose. He signed a three-year, $10.8 million contract to return to the team that drafted him third overall back in 1998.
Red Wings fans can only thank Stuart for his years of being a steady defenseman—one who became a key piece toward their 2008 Cup run, and who also had many years of neutralizing the opposition.
1. Larry Murphy (1997)
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Back in 1997, the Detroit Red Wings were making a push to break their Stanley Cup curse. They believed they had all the right pieces in place and they were going to be competitive.
Yet they felt they needed more help on defense. So management made a call to the Toronto Maple Leafs and was able to secure the last piece of the cup-winning team.
On March 18, 1997, the Red Wings acquired Larry Murphy from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Though he was 36 years old at the time, the Hall of Famer played 12 games in the regular season, contributing six points.
Murphy brought a different demeanor to that 1997 team. He was still a highly effective defenseman who complemented Nicklas Lidstrom's game. The 1997 cup champions brought back a winning culture for hockey in Detroit.
Murphy would go on to play another four seasons for the Red Wings and win another Cup in 1998. He retired in 2001 as a Wing and was inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004.