Detroit Red Wings scratch Nick Leddy, likely indicating a trade is pending for defenseman

Detroit Free Press

Leddy was scratched from Thursday’s lineup against the Vancouver Canucks for what Jeff Blashill said was a “management decision.” The trade deadline is Monday, and sitting Leddy is a form of protection against possible injury. Leddy, who turns 31 on Sunday, is in the last year of a contract with a $5.5 million salary cap hit.

Yzerman acquired Leddy last offseason, adding an offensive dimension to the Wings’ back end. Leddy looked like a good fit initially, but as the Wings struggled so did he, and after 55 games he has just 16 points and a team-worst minus-33 rating.

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Those aren’t attractive numbers, but Leddy’s resume shows he’s been an effective player on good teams. He had 31 points in 56 games last season, and he won a Stanley Cup in 2013 as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks. That kind of background — playing on a Cup winner, putting up points, and in the prime of his career — are attractive to teams looking to shore up ahead of the playoffs.

In addition to Leddy, the Wings’ other pending unrestricted free agents are forwards Vladislav Namestnikov and Sam Gagner, defensemen Marc Staal and Troy Stecher, and goaltender Thomas Greiss.

Contact Helene St. James at hstjames@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from AmazonBarnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail. 

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