Evaluating the Red Wings’ Trade Deadline

Photo: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Another trade deadline has come and gone, and in spite of the expansion draft there was a flurry of movement from many of the teams. For the first time in what I can remember, the Detroit Red Wings and Ken Holland were selling at the draft. It’s a nice thing to see, because it shows that they are at the very least not delusional about the state of the team. The streak is over, and now is the time to start trying to build for the future. The Wings moved 4 players this deadline, and here’s what I think about them.

Tomas Jurco to Chicago Blackhawks for a 2017 3rd Round Pick

This was the first one, and I was happy with it. I don’t envy Jurco. He’s what I consider one of the worst examples of the Red Wings mismanaging a pick. He was called up and put into the lineup too early, and put into a position where he skill and hands were smothered in favor of gritty play and shutdown minutes. It’s possible Tomas Jurco could have been something here, but he wasn’t. I was worried he would languish away in Healthy Scratch/AHL land forever, so getting a 3rd round pick out of him is a solid move.

Overall Score: 7/10

Brendan Smith to New York Rangers for a 2018 2nd Round Pick and a 2017 3rd Round Pick

I was really worried about this one because Holland apparently put a 3.5AAV x 3 year contract extension on the table for Smith. Personally, I think we have very solid D prospects, and I think adding Smith as a veteran presense for the future is a horrible decision. Not because I think he’s bad, no sir, I’m actually quite fond of Smith. But you already have that role filled by Kronwall, DDK, and Ericsson (unfortunately because Smith is probably better than all three). So instead, getting a 2nd and a 3rd out of New York for Smith is a fantastic trade. The best part is that the 2nd Round pick is in 2018, when the draft is expected to be deeper. Losing one of our better defensemen will also make it harder to win, and give Sproul the ice time he actual needs to develop.

Overall Score: 8.5/10

Steve Ott to Montreal Canadiens for a 2017 6th Round Pick

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Okay, look. I don’t want to be mean. I like Steve Ott. I like what he represents. He’s a player who’s role has almost been entirely surpassed in this league and who frankly isn’t very good at hockey, and yet he’s still getting signed and traded for by teams. The reason he is getting signed is because of his heart, his work ethic, his leadership. I respect the hell out of that. And so I truly wish him luck in Montreal. All that said….

What does Montreal think he is going to add to improve their team? That have a similar, but better in every way player in Shaw already. I just don’t get this trade, but I’m very happy with Kenny for getting something out of yet another UFA that we would have lost anyways. The absolute best part of this is that P.A. Parenteau was also moved at the deadline, also for a 6th round pick. That alone should show how much the Habs overpaid for Ott.

Overall Score: 10/10

Tomas Vanek to Florida Panthers for a 2017 3rd Round Pick and Dylan McIlrath

Here’s the one that everyone’s pissed about. First, let me explain the conditions on the 3rd. If the Panthers make the playoffs, it becomes Arizona’s 3rd not Florida’s which would move it forward by about 15 or so positions. That’s a much better pick, so officially we should be pulling for the Cats to make the playoffs.

Now, I understand that people wanted more. Almost everyone wanted a 1st for Vanek. Everyone saw Minnesota sell the farm for Martin Hanzal and expected that level of return for Vanek. I figured at least a 2nd. We didn’t get that, and that’s disappointing. But under no circumstances did the Wings “get fucked” as I saw multiple people on Facebook and Twitter say, usually before demanding Holland get fired immediately.

Here’s what I think happened:

  • Vanek was the top scoring Red Wing, and generally has been great for us. We assumed that meant he would be viewed equivalently throughout the league. But the Red Wings are not good this season, and great for us is only average for other teams.
  • Vanek’s history worked against him. In the past he has been traded multiple times, has under performed in the playoffs for multiple teams, and has been most recently bought out by Minnesota. Teams were wary and shied away accordingly.
  • Waiting as late to make the trade as Holland did, teams acquired other pieces instead of Vanek. Lowering the number of teams interested lowered his value.

It’s a combination of all that. I firmly believe that a 3rd round pick was the best Holland could do. I give him credit for getting what he could from a player who was going to be gone in the offseason anyways.

As for McIlrath, I don’t expect to see him play in NHL for us. He was a 10th overall draft pick in 2010, has played less than 50 games in the NHL, and is considered to be a bust. He’s been traded and waived several times already. As a UFA this off season, I expect he’ll be gone. Likewise the salary retained by Detroit means nothing because Vanek’s contract is up this off season. Consider this trade for all intents and purposes Vanek for a 3rd.

Overall Grade: 6/10

All in all, a good selling trade deadline for the Wings in my opinion. The only trade you can get upset about is Vanek’s, and I firmly look at it as better than it was worse. Now we wait until the offseason, when I expect a few more pieces will be moved and perhaps some picks traded up.

Start a Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *