Still nothing groundbreaking out of the Detroit Red Wings as the NHL trade deadline draws close. If there is a deal to be made, though, signs continue to point toward Vancouver for Ken Holland’s best chance to get it done.
Already, there has been speculation that the Red Wings might be interested in center Ryan Kesler, a Michigan native with two years left on his current contract. With Henrik Zetterberg sidelined for several more weeks and Pavel Datsyuk hobbling (and out of Tuesday’s lineup), the Wings could use another man in the middle.
They also could stand to upgrade on the blue line, where there is a steep drop-off after Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson and Danny DeKeyser. One option, from those Canucks: Alex Edler. Sportsnet’s Mark Spector gets the ball rolling:
Vancouver’s biggest issue isn’t having 10 no-trade clauses. The don of the John Tortorella Era and the decline of the club will mean Ryan Kesler won’t be the first core player willing to move on. Detroit likes Alex Edler and plenty of clubs love Kesler, who we firmly believe will not accept a trade to another Canadian team. (Sorry, Montreal.) Vancouver’s biggest issue is the two guys who likely won’t ever move: Henrik and Daniel Sedin. The twins turn 34 in September, when they start their new four-year, $28 million deals. Meanwhile, Henrik is pointless in nine games and goalless in 20, while Daniel (who was injured Sunday), has been a shadow of himself, pointless in 12 and without a goal in 22.
Granted, not much substance there. It’s also not the only time Edler-to-Detroit has been mentioned in the past 24 hours or so. ESPN’s Craig Custance tossed it out as a possibility, too:
I think the Red Wings either go big or do nothing. Depth isn’t a huge issue with the emergence of some of the younger players this season. If GM Ken Holland is going to upgrade, his best course of action is to go after somebody who provides a significant upgrade over one of the younger players filling depth roles. Ideally, someone with term. …
I’d look to Vancouver as a possible trading partner. The Red Wings have had conversations in the past about Edler, and I believe they’d bring Kesler home for the right price. Holland has hoarded his young talent though the past few years, so I’m curious to see if he’s willing to let the necessary pieces go to land one of these players.
Edler certainly would be the cheaper of the two. Current rumors have the Canucks asking for an NHL center, a top prospect and a first-round pick for Kesler. (In Detroit’s case, the package might have to look something like: Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco and the pick — a very steep price.)
The Wings also still have Kyle Quincey as possible trade bait themselves, particularly if another defenseman joins the fold.