2013 NHL Trade Deadline: 4 Players the Detroit Red Wings Need to Target

Isaac SmithAnalyst IApril 3, 2013

2013 NHL Trade Deadline: 4 Players the Detroit Red Wings Need to Target

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    The Detroit Red Wings have until the NHL trade deadline on Wednesday, April 3, at 3 p.m. ET to make roster moves.

    But don't tell that to the GMs around the NHL. Monday and Tuesday saw a flurry of big names exchange hands, almost assuredly taking these players off of the trade block for the remainder of the season.

    The Detroit Red Wings have been doing what the Red Wings do best at the trade deadline: sitting, waiting and watching.

    But although the Red Wings might make the playoffs for the 22nd straight season, the Red Wings still need some upgrades to contend for a Stanley Cup, as their play the moment is too inconsistent to pick them as a serious contender in this postseason.

    So will the Red Wings make any moves?

    Here are four players that Red Wings GM Ken Holland should at least be targeting leading up to tomorrow's trade deadline.

1. Keith Yandle

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    The Coyotes sit four points out of the playoffs and have a 2-5-3 record in their last 10 games. The likelihood of the 'Yotes making the playoffs this year is growing ever dimmer as goalie Mike Smith is still on injured reserve.

    Keith Yandle, albeit one of the biggest building-block pieces that the Coyotes currently possess, also has the second-most trade value on the team behind fellow defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

    If the Red Wings were able to put forth enough of an offer—and it would likely have to be quite the offer as Yandle is no rental player with three years left on his contract with a $5.25 million cap hit (per CapGeek.com)—the Red Wings would be able to significantly upgrade their defense corps heading into their postseason push.

    Yandle had two goals against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night and has 21 points in 36 games played this season, with a plus-two rating. Where Yandle would really help the Red Wings is at the point on the power play. Yandle has four power-play goals and seven power-play points.

    The 26-year-old, American-born defenseman would not only solve the Red Wings' puck movement problems as far as offensive breakouts go, but he would also provide a substantial upgrade on the top pairing defensively, as he could replace Jonathan Ericsson.

    He would cost an arm and a leg (and possibly the kitchen sink as well), but he would be worth it in the long run.

2. Ales Hemsky

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    Remember when Ales Hemsky scored with 2.1 seconds left in the third period in a game against the Dallas Stars? Hemsky is still putting up clutch goals for the Edmonton Oilers, but has been somewhat overshadowed by the most recent crop of first-round and first-overall draft picks.

    Hemsky would not be a rental player either, but as a right-handed-shooting right wing, he could be of valuable use to the Red Wings since they have not had a true right-wing scorer in a long time.

    Hemsky does come with a $5 million cap hit, so there would be some hesitation on the part of GM Ken Holland to make this acquisition because Hemsky is signed through next season.

    But the Red Wings could end up watching Valtteri Filppula go into the sunset of free agency, as Ansar Khan of MLive.com reported that Filppula wants upward of $5 million in free agency (up from the $3 million cap hit that Filppula has this season).

    Hemsky could end up taking that money instead if the Red Wings wanted to make a deal for the 29-year-old right wing.

    It would be a stretch considering what the Oilers would want in exchange, as Hemsky is definitely a leader in Edmonton.

    Hemsky also had 17 points in 24 playoff games in Edmonton's near-Stanley Cup championship in 2006.

3. Brad Boyes

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    With the New York Islanders momentarily in the playoff picture (sitting in eighth having played two games more than the ninth-place New York Rangers), Brad Boyes could be off the table as far as trades are concerned.

    Boyes makes just $1 million this season and was likely one of the biggest steals from the 2012 free-agency period as he has 29 points in 37 games.

    The Red Wings lack a true top-six right-winger, with Damien Brunner having just re-emerged from a deep offensive slumber (no goals in 15 games before scoring Monday night against Colorado).

    Enter Brad Boyes.

    As a rental player, Boyes would be a player who the Red Wings could even look to re-sign for next year, given the year he has had so far with the Islanders.

    Depending on whether Islanders GM Garth Snow is being honest with himself (or delusional, believing the Islanders can qualify for the playoffs with the Rangers and Washington Capitals chasing them), the Red Wings might be able to swing a deal for Brad Boyes.

    Boyes would also be a huge help to the Red Wings' power play, with a goal and 11 assists on the power play so far for the Islanders.

    At this point, a second- or third-round pick might be enough to get Boyes.

4. Jason Pominville

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    The Buffalo Sabres' captain, Jason Pominville, has had a rough go of it lately.

    After watching teammate Tomas Vanek take over the NHL scoring race with 23 points in 11 games, Pominville has found his name on the trade block lately after falling off offensively (via TSN).

    The Sabres are 13th in the Eastern Conference and could be in fire-sale mode going into the trade deadline.

    Pominville partially controls where he goes, as he can submit a list of eight teams that he will not be traded to. Ultimately, however, Pominville could find his way onto the Red Wings via a trade.

    He has one year left on his contract with a salary-cap hit of $5.3 million. However, with the Valtteri Filppula pending free-agent situation, Pominville could be a realistic option if the Red Wings decide not to offer Filppula more than $5 million.

    Pominville had a 30-goal season last year to go along with 73 total points.

    He would be a more than welcome addition to the top-line, right-wing spot on the Red Wings.

What to Expect

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    When expecting something with the Detroit Red Wings, Red Wings fans have learned not to expect anything near the trade deadline.

    Ken Holland is not a fool, and will (in all likelihood) hold on to his draft picks, prospects and roster players. However, the big elephant in the room is Filppula's contract situation.

    As far as rental players are concerned, this offseason (with the cap going down next year) is a big year for rental players. Valtteri Filppula could end up being a big piece for another playoff contender by the end of the day tomorrow.

    If this becomes reality, expect the Red Wings to get a sizable offensive chip in return.

    This player that the Red Wings get back should either be a first- or second-line right wing or a top-pairing defenseman.


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