The NHL trade deadline is only four weeks away, on March 21 at 3:00 PM ET, to be exact. With the Red Wings slipping further out of playoff contention in a very difficult Eastern Conference, it looks more and more like Detroit will once again be sellers this year.
General Manager Steve Yzerman has 10 forwards, three defensemen, and one goaltender under contract for next year. Looking at the status of contracts for next year, it is obvious that Yzerman will be trying to unload some of the seven UFA’s from the current roster.
Here is a look at the five that I believe are the most likely to be moved by the deadline.
Nick Leddy is likely one player that the Red Wings will move prior to the deadline. Leddy’s cap hit of $5.5M makes it tough for most teams headed to the playoffs, but the Red Wings have plenty of cap space and have the ability to retain most of Leddy’s contract. The higher the cap retention, the higher the trade value.
General Manager Steve Yzerman traded a 2nd round pick to the New York Islanders for Leddy last summer. Yzerman will be expecting at least a 2nd round pick and possibly a prospect or salary dump in order to trade Leddy to a contender.
There are numerous possibilities, but one that won’t go away is a Leddy trade back to the New York Islanders. I personally don’t see that happening because New York is currently out of the playoff running and sit behind even Detroit in the Wild Card standings.
One trade that could be a possibility is a Leddy trade to Toronto. A 2nd round pick in the 2022 draft plus a salary dump of Nick Ritchie would be favorable for both teams.
Potential Trade: Nick Leddy to Toronto for Nick Ritchie and a conditional 2022 2nd round pick that slips to a 3rd round pick if Toronto doesn’t make it to the Conference Finals in 2022