Let's take a look at pending free agent centers (typically the players you get in trades without selling the farm - ie. what it would cost to get ROR):
Brad Richards - Chicago's not giving him up because he's signed to a stupid cheap contract.
Shawn Horcoff - Not having a great season statistically or even in the eye test. More like a third-line guy.
Jarret Stoll - He is good on the PK along with Anze Kopitar and the Kings may not have room to re-sign him. Not a top-6 center, though.
Dan Briere - Age issue again. I don't believe he's playing center now anyway, I think he's on the wing?
Olli Jokinen - Along with the next three players, he's an eldersman on the Predators top-6. He's also old as ish and I don't think he's the guy we need.
Derek Roy - I think he's rather overrated, but what do I know. He's got 500+ career points, but only has two goals this year I believe?
Matt Cullen - He's been banged up, but he's traditionally been a top-6 center. Off my radar, personally. 38-years-old.
Mike Fisher - coming off Achilles' injury, he's not doing anything for us this year.
Antoine Vermette - Having a down year in Arizona, but I think that has more to do with the players around him. I'd target him.
Mike Ribeiro - I think he's still got what it takes to make a difference day in and day out. I would definitely want him for my 2nd line.
Then, though, we go back to what I said before - what's the opportunity cost? What does it cost the Red Wings to get the Predators' top center when they're the #1 ranked team in the West right now?
Vermette should be significantly cheaper, given how poorly Arizona (yuck) is playing right now. But what's the verdict - what would it take?
From what I understand, Legwand is playing the wing on the first line.
Also, what do you all think of the list of centers that are going to be UFA's at the end of the year (the rentals you usually see moved at the deadline/in-season)?
Vermette seems to be the only viable option that would be moved. You don't usually see teams in a playoff position trading away their top-6 talent.
Weiss+Prospect+Pick? Does it cost you an additional NHL player too? Helm, Kindl, etc.? Do they want a defensive prospect?
I don't think he's signing an extension to stay out there. It's way far from home (Quebec City), the team is NOT trending upwards, and he's 32-years-old- he's not getting many more chances to play for a Stanley Cup or Team Canada. Flights are $300 round-trip from Detroit to home and back, his family can drive down for the weekend, etc. etc.
Short of going to Montreal, I don't see another team that is trending upward and still has star players like Detroit. Come here, be the #2 center, and make a huge push to win a Cup.
Sigh. I'm glad I'm not the GM.