Detroit Red Wings: Jonathan Ericsson and Players in Danger of Being Trade Bait
Several of the Detroit Red Wings players have been playing inconsistently so far this season. Some of their superstar players, such as Datsyuk and Zetterberg have only recently started to find their momentum after their losing streak earlier this season. Others are failing to measure up to their true potential.
Detroit has always been known to keep quiet on the trade subject over the years. They are always hesitant on who to put on the trade block. Those who fail in Detroit end up succeeding elsewhere.
Who are the players that are dangerously close to being trade bait?
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This past offseason, Jiri Hudler trained with Jonathan Chambers—who is known for training Ultimate Fighting Championship fighters—in Montreal. Hudler wanted to improve his strength and endurance.
He had a strong start this season, scoring two goals and two assists in the first four games of the season. Since then, he performed only eight assists in 13 games.
Hudler is coming off a disappointing year where he scored only 10 goals in 73 games. He is yearning to perform better—and though he's had an ailing injury—he's still under close scrutiny.
It wouldn't be surprising to see Hudler up on the trade block to retrieve someone else with better depth. If Hudler can improve before the trade deadline, he may be able to save himself.
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Ty Conklin's main job for the Red Wings is to give goaltender Jimmy Howard a breather. While he's done that, he hasn't been a strong solid backup goalie for the Red Wings.
Before the loss against the Colorado Avalanche on Dec. 3rd, Conklin has yet to start a game since Oct. 25th and within good reason.
His only win for the season was against the Avs earlier this year where he finished with a shutout and saved 29 shots on goal. He has only started in four games and relieved Howard in one game in the third period.
You'll see Conklin playing time become slim as we progress further into the season but he needs to step up and fill Howard's shoes when the starting goaltender is off the ice.
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This was supposed to be Dan Cleary's breakout year. He was coming off a career year in which he has 26 goals and 46 points.
As of now, Cleary has five goals and eight points. He has been struggling all season, and he has not been skating as well as he used to. He has not created any scoring opportunities or chances for himself.
Cleary needs to step up his game and improve. He has a lot of potential that has yet to come out this season. He hasn't been playing consistently. He's had a few strong games, especially in his last against the Avs where he scored a goal.
His skills appear to be hidden this season. He has a lot of work to do if he wants to meet or surpass his previous career year.
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Todd Bertuzzi has missed six games this season from a sinus infection and dizziness. While some say that Bertuzzi has been playing strong hockey since returning, its mostly due to thanks of him being well rested.
Before his strong return to the ice, Bertuzzi had been struggling to perform well on the ice. The only thing he was good of doing was racking up penalty minutes and making poor decisions. He has also not been handling the puck and skating cleanly.
Since returning, he has been playing strong and making better decisions. He needs to keep this up. If he falls back into his early season habit of poor playing and decision making, he may find himself on the trade block once again in his career.
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Jonathan Ericsson has been concentrating on improving his game but hasn't exactly been the offensive threat that he used to be.
He has been making some terrible decisions that lead to scoring goals for his opponents. In his last game against Colorado, he created some terrible passes that led to scoring opportunities for the Avs. He played an awful game.
He hasn't been very dependable lately nor has he been consistent. He is rarely or never on the power-play line. He has performed some unnecessary and poor penalties.
He hasn't been the strong player that he used to be. If he doesn't change anything, he will find himself as trade bait.