SEATTLE — The Detroit Red Wings packed up and moved on to Seattle, wondering whether one or more teammates might not be around for the trek back home.
There were signs Thursday that defenseman Nick Leddy may be on the move, as a phone call from Steve Yzerman led to Leddy being scratched from Thursday’s victory in Vancouver as a precaution against possibly getting injured.
“I spoke with Steve and it was a management decision to hold him out,” coach Jeff Blashill said.
The trade deadline is Monday, and Leddy is among a handful of pending unrestricted free agents who could be gone by then.
“If Leds moves on to somewhere else, we wish him the best of luck,” goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic said. “But we’re kind of hoping he stays — we love him in that room and he brings a good element on the ice, as well.
“Whatever happens, happens. At the end of the day, this is a business.”
Defensemen Marc Staal and Troy Stecher, forwards Vladilslav Namestnikov and Sam Gagner and goaltender Thomas Greiss are also pending UFAs. Among the younger set, forwards Tyler Bertuzzi and Filip Zadina could be in play, though Bertuzzi’s unvaccinated status is a hurdle. He’s expected to join the team in Seattle for Saturday’s trip-ending game against the Kraken.
DEADLINE LOOMS: How Wings’ recent rough stretch impacts Steve Yzerman
Last year, the Wings traded Anthony Mantha the day of the deadline (for a package involving forward Jakub Vrana), and two years ago, Andreas Athanasiou was moved at the deadline. The NHL is indeed a business, but that doesn’t mean this time of year isn’t challenging.
“Our guys are human,” Blashill said. “All this stuff affects you. One of the things I’ve been proud of our team over the last two games is, in differing ways, we were really mentally tough. We didn’t let that decision affect us. We went out and played hard. We played with tons of passion.
“Ultimately, as hard as it is, you only control what you can control,” he added. “We just have to continue to focus on that.”
Contact Helene St. James at email@example.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 Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.