With the 48 game regular season rapidly closing in on its end, the Detroit Red Wings are in an interesting position.
With every game being vital to securing a playoff berth, Ken Holland and the Red Wings management have to decide what the best course of action is heading into the April 3rd trade deadline.
Here are five reasons why the Red Wings should be observers this year at the deadline.
The Red Wings currently sit in the 14th position in the NHL in the "goals for" category. In order for the Red Wings to make a playoff run, scoring must compliment the defense.
Interestingly enough, the Red Wings are the third-best team in the "goals against" category. These numbers prove that the current defense, combined with the stellar play of goaltender Jimmy Howard, is getting the job done. However, it is not always pretty.
The Red Wings would be mistaken to trade away vital offensive pieces like Johan Franzen (the team's only true power forward) or Valtteri Filppula (who, despite becoming an unrestricted free agent after this season, brings a great two-way game to the lineup) to gain defense. This is a group of forwards that knows how to score.
The Red Wings had high hopes for newly signed defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo. Coming into the year, it was believed he could provide support for the Red Wings then depleted blue line.
Sadly, his tendency to be injured was not left in St. Louis, and he injured his shoulder in the second game of the year. He has finally been cleared to play, adding to the Red Wings' defensive depth.
Even though he will need to earn his place in the lineup, his return gives the Red Wings a surplus of defensemen. Colaiacovo fills a need as a solid defenseman who can move the puck well, and with him in the lineup, a trade for a defenseman is unnecessary.
In a season that has seen injuries take their toll on this Red Wings team, an extra blueliner may be just what the doctor ordered.
Top Detroit Goaltending Prospect Petr Mrazek
After the departures of all-time great defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, net-front stalwart Tomas Holmstrom and stay-at-home blueliner Brad Stuart, there was much uncertainty regarding the future of Hockeytown.
In an offseason dominated by the failure to land top free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, the Red Wings showed fans that the free-agency game is very tricky.
This season, the Red Wings need to conserve their draft picks for the 2013 NHL entry draft. Draft picks would almost certainly be used to trade some of Detroit's less skilled forwards, and at this point, that is not something good for the long-term health of a team that is trying to get younger.
After all, the Red Wings are the NHL's second-oldest team.
Even though draft picks are a gamble, the Red Wings need make sure they keep their right to make a beneficial pick in the opening rounds.
For a while, it seemed like the Red Wings would never score a power-play goal on the road.
Thankfully, that infamous streak came to an end, and the Red Wings have scored a power-play goal in the last five games that they have played on the road.
Even when the power play has not scored, it has looked tremendously better. The puck is being cycled, held in well and, most importantly, the puck is being put on net from a variety of angles.
The power play in the NHL has come to be known as a very delicate system, with one or two players making or breaking a unit. If the Red Wings were to trade a valued member of their power play, such as Johan Franzen, Danny Cleary or even prized prospect Gustav Nyquist, it would be, to put it lyrically, just like starting over.
In a 42-game season, Visnovsky will draw much more interest than usual due to many teams looking for that "missing piece" to put them over the top and into that coveted No. 8 seed. With so much interest, his price will go up and the Red Wings would be forced to give up a bigger part of their future for a rental player.
Visnovsky is one of many players who may be traded for more than they are worth this April 3rd.
Ken Holland and his staff would be smart to stick with the current lineup and watch other teams move players at the deadline.