NHL Trade Speculation: 4 Moves That Will Return the Cup to Detroit Red Wings
To get the Red Wings back to the Stanley Cup finals and ultimately win a championship will be the task of Head Coach Mike Babcock and GM Ken Holland.
Changes have to be made, and the following four could be enough to bring the cup back to Detroit.
Hockeytown is ready for its 12th Stanley Cup in franchise history.
4. Find a New Blueliner
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The Red Wings offensive-minded defense needs to find somebody who can fill the gap that was left by the sudden retirement of Brian Rafalski.
Instead of looking for free agents, the Wings have a talented young man in their organization that fit the job description.
Brendan Smith is an outstanding defenseman, who proved last season with the AHL’s Grand Rapid Griffins that he deserved to be named WCHA's "Defensive Player of the Year" during his junior year at the University of Wisconsin.
He scored 12 goals and 20 assists with the Griffins last season, and also showed his physical play, which earned him 124 penalty minutes.
With the help of players like Nicklas Lidstrom and Niklas Kronwall, Smith could become a big part of the Red Wings defense.
3. Try to Trade Jiri Hudler
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This has nothing to do with talent or his performance last season. The reason I want the Red Wings to get rid off Jiri Hudler is loyalty.
Wearing the winged wheel on your chest should mean something to you; this franchise has tradition, and Hudler forget this when he left Detroit to play with Dynamo Moscow during the 2009-2010 season.
It seemed he listened too closely to the Steve Miller Band’s song “Take the money and run."
In addition to his missing loyalty, trading Hudler could save the team $3 million in salary this upcoming season, according to www.sportscity.com.
2. Sign Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm to Long-Term Deals
Hard working Darren Helm fits Hockeytown's blue-collar mentality
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Forwards Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm are the new Kris Draper and Darren McCarty. They are hard workers with skill, but also not afraid to drop their gloves.
Both are 24 years old and heading into their fifth year with the Red Wings. They will continue to improve their game and become a bigger part of the Wings offense.
They provide, in addition to Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, the foundation of Detroit's offensive future.
1. Get a Strong Backup for Jimmy Howard
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The key to success in the NHL is goaltending, which Tim Thomas proved last season.
If you look at the last four Red Wings Stanley Cup victories in '97, '98, '02 and '08, you will realize that each of the three different goaltenders played phenomenal playoffs.
The reason why those goalies were able to play such fantastic playoffs were their backups. These backups provided the starters with rest during the regular season.
I don't see current backup Ty Conklin getting this job done.
Overall a few changes will be necessary, but the Red Wings are again in the hunt for cup number 12.