The West is a division full of teams looking to sell at the deadline, but a few teams are poised for a deep run in the playoffs. The Red Wings have assets to sell.
If the Red Wings end up making a deal with a team out west, it looks like Vegas, Colorado, and Minnesota will be the most likely suitors.
Vegas Golden Knights
Cap Space: $165,516
Red Wings In Play: Jon Merrill, Adam Erne
If Vegas wants to make a deal before the deadline to bolster the roster, it’s going to take some maneuvering of the cap space. With such little cap left to work with, any sort of deal will require retaining salary, moving a big contract, or other sorts of cap magic (like the kind we saw the Lightning perform in the three team deal Saturday).
Vegas is now in a battle for the West with one of the best teams in the league, the Colorado Avalanche. If Vegas wants to lock up that spot on top, it’ll likely take some roster shakeups to do it. However, Vegas is a well built team. There are not a lot of major gaps in the lineup – any sort of trades will likely be an attempt to strengthen the team’s depth. That’s perfect for a team like Detroit, which has a pretty good selection of depth players marked as trade assets. Vegas is a team that needs depth scoring and depth defenseman – and Detroit has both.
Adam Erne: ’22 3rd rounder
Jon Merrill: ’22 3rd rounder
Vegas has two 3rd round picks in 2022, and they are a team that has a history of using their draft picks as trade capital. Based on the return that Steve Yzerman got for Patrick Nemeth (’22 4th round pick), a 3rd for Merrill is a very reasonable ask. Merrill is statistically a superior player to Nemeth, and is relatively cheap with a $925,000 contract. Adam Erne has had a breakout season, tied for the team lead in goals, with ten. A third is more than fair.
Adam Erne: ’22 4th rounder
Jon Merrill: ’21 4th rounder