The Detroit Red Wings continue to play inconsistent hockey and are now nine points behind Boston for the final Wild Card playoff spot. Boston also has five games in hand.
The Red Wings have one week off and don’t resume the regular season schedule until next Wednesday. The lull in the schedule, will give General Manager Steve Yzerman an opportunity to meet with the management team to plan a course of action heading into the trade deadline that is scheduled for March 21 at 3:00 PM ET.
Here is a look at five changes that need to happen with Detroit before the trade deadline.
Nick Leddy will be a highly sought-after player at the trade deadline. Leddy would bring a veteran presence and depth to any team looking to make a long playoff run. Leddy is an impending UFA and with Detroit falling further out of the playoff picture, it is almost guaranteed that Leddy will be dealt. The problem with this scenario is that Leddy sustained an upper body injury on Monday in the game against Anaheim and could be out for an extended period of time.
Advantages: A trade out of Hockeytown will bring in a draft choice that can be used to further assist Detroit in the rebuild. With Leddy now injured, Detroit will need to prove that Leddy is injury-free.
Disadvantages: Leddy currently has a cap hit of $5.5M. As long as Detroit absorbs the majority of the salary, Leddy will be easier to move. Leddy regularly plays 20-21 minutes each night and trading him will expose an already fractured blueline. Detroit has 20 games remaining after the deadline and someone will have to account for a significant amount of playing time.
What to expect: Nick Leddy will be traded to a contender for a conditional 3rd round selection in the 2022 draft. The 3rd round pick will change to a 2nd round pick if the team who trades for him makes it to the Stanley Cup Final.