Right now, the trade front is pretty quiet, but it's been speculated that talks are probably going to heat up come mid March. By that team, there will be more teams willing to sell because they are either way out of the playoff race. There's also been speculation that there won't be a lot of players moving that are under contract for next season, due to the cap going down.
I figured we could use this thread to talk about the impending UFA's for teams that are heading in the direction of "deadline seller" that may be attractive to the Red Wings. Assuming of course, that the Red Wings will be "deadline buyers"...
In the West, it's looking like Columbus, Colorado and Calgary are heading towards being sellers. Edmonton, Minnesota, Phoenix and San Jose are all currently out of a playoff spot, but are all within two points of the 8th spot team.
Columbus' UFA's: F Vinny Prospal (38), F Mark Letestu (28) and D Adrian Aucoin (39)
Although Prospal probably wouldn't be at the top of their list, he may not be a bad playoff rental. He can still produce and would be on pace to pot 25-26 goals in an 82 game season this year. The only knocks are his age, the fact that he has missed significant time the past few seasons with knee problems and is more of a playmaker than a scorer that Holland would be looking for. Obviously he'd have to want to come to the Wings, since he has a No Movement Clause.
Letestu is smallish and doesn't really offer anything the Red Wings need, although he would be on pace to score 24-25 goals in an 82 game season this year. Aucoin is a veteran dman with some size, but he's old and I doubt he would be an upgrade over any of the Wings Dmen.
Colorado's UFA's: F Milan Hejduk (37), F Chuck Kobasew (30), F Patrick Bordeleau (26) and Ryan O'Byrne (28)
The only guy I can see Holland having any interest in would be O'Byrne. He's a big Dman that can play a shutdown game, but there will also be better options available.
I'm sure Hejduk won't want to leave Colorado. Kobasew, a 3rd line winger, and Bordeleau, an enforcer aren't what Holland will be looking for.
Calgary's UFA's: F Jarome Iginla (35), F Roman Cervenka (27), F Blake Comeau (27), F Steve Begin (34) and D Anton Babchuk (28)
Obviously Iginla is going to be on every playoff teams wishlist, but would he want come to the Wings and what would it cost? Most are speculating that if he waives his NTC, he'll want to go to a team with a good shot at going deep like Boston, Pittsburgh, Chicago or Anaheim. I can see Holland going after Babchuck. He wouldn't be my first choice, but he is the kind of dman that Holland likes to get. Has some offensive skills and a good shot from the point. However, just like Iginla, he has a NTC.
I doubt the Wings would have interest in: Comeau, who hasn't been able to produce since leaving the Islanders; Begin, who is a veteran agitator; or Cervenka, who is unproven at the NHL level and has already been a healthy scratch a couple of times this season.
Edmonton's UFA's: F Ryan Jones (28), F Lennart Petrell (28), D Ryan Whitney (30), D Ladislav Smid (27), D Andy Sutton (37), D Mark Fistric (26), G Nikolai Khabibulin (40)
I can see Holland having interest in Smid and Fistric. Both are relatively young and big shutdown type dman that could slot in on the Wings blue line. Maybe a very small interest in Sutton too. Sutton is even bigger and more physical, but is obviously much older and has net yet played this season due to knee surgery. If the Red Wings continue having issues with Gustavssons groin, I could see Holland kicking the tires on Khabibulin as a veteran insurance policy. He may be old, but he has been putting up stellar numbers for the less than stellar Oilers this season. He did get put on IR today (2/27), but no reports yet on why.
It's already been reported that Holland has no interest in Whitney, who because of injuries has become a shadow of the good dman the Wings faced in the 2008 SCF. Also, probably no interest in Jones or Petrell, who are 3rd/4th line guys for the Oilers.
It looks like in the East that Buffalo, Washington and Florida are heading towards being sellers. The Islanders, Jets, Rangers and Flyers are all out of a playoff spot but are within two points of the 8th spot.
Buffalo's UFA's: F Jochen Hecht (35), F John Scott (30), D Robyn Regehr (32), D Jordan Leopold (32) and D Alexander Sulzer (28)
I can see Holland going after Regehr and Leopold. Regehr plays a more physical shutdown game, and Leopold is more of a puck mover. Both would make the Wings D better. Regehr however, has a NMC and would have to want to come to the Wings.
Doubt Holland would have interest in: Hecht, an injury prone forward who has lost his offensive game; Scott, a giant enforcer; or Sulzer, a dman who has never cracked any of his teams top 6.
Washington's UFA's: F Mike Ribeiro (33), F Joey Crabb (29), F Matt Hendricks (31), F Wojtek Wolski (27), F Eric Fehr (27), D Roman Hamrlik (39), D Tom Poti (35) and D Jack Hillen (27)
I can see Holland having interest in Ribeiro if Washington shops him, but he isn't really the scorer that the team wants. Even though he has been absolutely riddled with injuries, I can see Holland inquiring about Poti as well. When healthy the guy is a decent top 4 dman. He may have interest if Fehr too, who can score goals and has some size.
I doubt there will be interest in: Crabb and Hendricks, who are both 3rd/4th line energy guys; Wolski, a soft skilled player who can't produce and is probably KHL bound; Hamrlik, who has been a healthy scratch for all but 4 games this season and is most likely playing his last NHL season; and Hillen, who was a top 4 guy with the Islanders, but hasn't been able to produce since leaving the Island.
Florida's UFA's: F Stephen Weiss (29), F Alexei Kovalev (40), F Jerred Smithson (34), D Tyson Strachan (28) and G Jose Theodore (36)
Obviously Holland will be interested in Weiss, but much like Iginla, would he waive his NTC to come to the Wings? I have a strange feeling Holland would kick the tires on Kovalev.... On the bright side, he would probably come very cheap and still has some skill. But, he's 40... I can also see Holland kicking the tires on Theodore as a veteran insurance policy if Gustavsson is still struggling with his groin. Theodore whould have to want to move though, as he has a NTC as well.
I doubt Holland would have interest in: Smithson, a 3rd/4th line forward; or Strachan, a physical #6/7 dman.
NY Islanders UFA's: F Marty Reasoner (36), F Brad Boyes (30), F Colin McDonald (28), F Keith Aucoin (34), F Eric Boulton (36), D Mark Streit (35), D Lubomir Visnosvsky (36), D Radek Martinek (36), G Evgeni Nabokov (37)
I'm sure Holland will have interest in Streit, as he is one of the best Dmen heading for UFA status this summer. He is a top pairing guy on a lot of teams. However, there's been speculation that he wants to stay on the Island and that they have been negotiating an extension. Visnovsky on the other hand, will most likely be available and would also be on Hollands shopping list. They guy is a top 4 dman. Holland could also have interest in Boyes, who is coming off an underwhelming season in Buffalo, but has been producing for the Islanders. Adding Boyes would give the Wings another forward with some finishing ability. Much like Khabibulin and Theodore, there could be interest from Holland in Nabokov if they feel that they need a veteran insurance policy in goal for some reason.
Doubt there would be interest in: Reasoner, an aging 4th line guy; McDonald & Aucoin, who before this season were AHL journeymen; Boulton, a veteran enforcer; or Martinek, a soft oft-injured veteran dman.
Edited by DSM, 01 March 2013 - 04:44 PM.