Detroit may have to make a trade in order to clear up their roster.
The Detroit Red Wings have made some moves this offseason that bolster their roster, but also scratch some heads.
They signed forwards Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss to replace Valtteri Filppula and Damien Brunner, but then resigned veteran Dan Cleary with 16 forwards already in camp. The move contributed to Detroit surpassing the salary cap, of which it’s now compliant.
Detroit dropped below the cap by placing forwards Patrick Eaves and Darren Helm on long-term injured reserve and demoting forward Gustav Nyquist. Jordin Tootoo and Jonas Gustavsson have been placed on short-term injured reserve.
Even though the Red Wings are salary-cap compliant, it won’t last long and something will have to be done to free up room on the roster and under the cap. These moves could result in a trade of some sort, whether early or late in the season.
If we know anything about hockey, it's that anything can happen at any moment.
With that in mind, here are five Detroit Red Wings who could be traded during the 2013-14 season.
Jordin Tootoo hasn't found a home in Detroit's lineup.
Jordin Tootoo played in 42 games with the Red Wings last season and registered just three goals and eight points. He appeared in just one playoff game recording a minor penalty.
As an enforcer standing a mere 5’9”, Tootoo didn’t really find a niche in the Detroit lineup. Primarily a fourth-liner he was used as a fire-starter and an agitator.
With the fourth line slated to include any of Drew Miller, Mikael Samuelsson, Cory Emmerton and Tomas Tatar, Tootoo doesn’t appear to fit in Detroit’s plans.
Although he was currently placed on the short-term injured reserve, Tootoo is still a commodity. According to Ansar Khan of mlive.com, the Red Wings spoke with the Nashville Predators regarding Tootoo’s services, but could not complete a deal.
With no room on the roster and a small price tag, Tootoo is likely to be on his way out of Hockeytown.
Kyle Quincey is in the final year of his contract.
Quincey played in 36 games last season totaling just one goal and three points and is likely to be paired with Brendan Smith again this season. At 28 years old he’s an established veteran on the blue line and could be an asset to another club closer to the trade deadline.
If Quincey is on the move, it’ll likely come closer to the end of the regular season when contracts become prorated. It wouldn’t be a move for a big-name player, as the salary cap will still be a concern for the Wings.
Detroit faithful know that if Quincey won’t resign, then GM Ken Holland is sure not to go home empty handed.
Mikael Samuelsson's days in Detroit may be numbered.
Mikael Samuelsson has been uneasy for Detroit since he signed on for his second stint in the red and white before last season.
After playing just four games last year, the ailments weighing on him were becoming a drag for the rest of Hockeytown. Samuelsson has a no-trade clause in his contract and with his age, salary and injury concerns, he’ll be a tough sell.
Presumably healthy for the start of this season, he will see time at the point on the second power-play unit as well as a winger on the fourth line.
His biggest concern isn’t just his health, but a glut of NHL-ready forwards in the organization. He’ll need to remain healthy to stay in the lineup and should he suffer an injury, he’d be replaced in the lineup by talented youngster Tomas Tatar—who may not relinquish the spot.
With this being the last year of his contract it is possible Samuelsson could be on the move. It would be a project, but Holland may have to settle for whatever he can get to create the necessary cap space provided with his departure.
Patrick Eaves is a fan favorite, but may be a salary-cap casualty.
Patrick Eaves is an unfortunate situation. Eaves suffered a broken jaw and a concussion after being hit by a shot from Nashville’s Roman Josi in 2011.
He missed the remainder of the 2011-12 season due to post-concussion syndrome, but was able to return for the 2012-13 campaign and played in 34 games.
This year Eaves was placed on long-term injured reserve after hurting his knee and his ankle in practice on Sept. 17. With the move the Wings were able to discount his salary from the cap as well as free up a roster spot—for now.
Being in the final year of his contract Eaves could be on the trade block. He brings good speed and grit and is still just 29 years old. He’s a solid bottom-six forward who can kill penalties and provide energy when necessary.
If Eaves were to be dealt, it would be closer to the trade deadline when teams are more familiar with their own wants and needs. Early in the season it’s tough to determine the identity of a club, but Eaves is the kind of role player that could eventually make a playoff team come calling.
Tomas Tatar could be Detroit's most valuable trade piece.
I know a lot of Red Wings fans would be heartbroken to see this, but it could be the reality of the situation.
Tatar is 22 years old and has proven all he can at the minor league level. Last year’s Jack A. Butterfield Trophy-winner as MVP of the AHL playoffs, Tatar’s 16 goals and 21 points helped lead the Grand Rapids Griffins to their first Calder Cup title.
Tatar doesn’t have the size but brings the soft hands and quick release that come with being a natural scorer. He’s a young talent who is ready to prove his worth at the NHL level and that will be very attractive for teams looking to get younger.
However, Detroit has a lot of gifted young forwards in Gustav Nyquist, Riley Sheahan, Landon Ferraro, Tomas Jurco and Calle Jarnkrok working for an opportunity as well.
The extensive amount of forwards at both levels could make Tatar Detroit’s top trade piece. If they can’t move any of the veterans already named, then Tatar could be the one packing his bags this season.