Trade rumors continue to circle Hockeytown, as Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland seeks out some help (particularly on defense) for the 2014-15 version of his hockey team. Should the Wings try to pull the trigger on a trade for someone like Mike Green or Tyler Myers? Or does a short-term contract for a remaining free agent make sense?
We debate the Wings’ next move in our latest roundtable:
1. Three defensemen who have been linked to the Red Wings via various rumors are Tyler Myers, Keith Yandle, and Mike Green. Which of those guys is the best fit for the Wings given salaries, what it might cost to acquire them, etc.?
Andrew Tomlinson: I will start with that I do not want Mike Green. Can I say it again? Mike Green and the Red Wings would be a disaster. Finally, trading for Mike Green would be a terrible idea. Green has a history of concussions in Washington; living in Washington I am more than familiar with his off-ice issues; and finally Mike Babcock didn’t want him on Team Canada when he was lighting the lamp consistently, so why would he want him now?
As for Yandle, I have no thoughts. He isn’t my first choice, but they could do a lot worse — cough cough Mike Green.
Tyler Myers is the pick for me. The kid is young, won the Calder Trophy and is exciting. His cap number is very manageable and he could use a nice change of scenery in order to jumpstart his career again. Last postseason, the Wings were pushed around and Myers is huge with size you just can’t teach. It may take a lot to get him, but the Wings could have a real asset on their hands if they do.
Max DeMara: The logical answer is probably Tyler Myers considering Buffalo will likely be most motivated to sell of all the teams listed. But I’ve always been intrigued by Yandle because not only does he bring some definite offensive punch, but his defense isn’t lacking, either. Detroit’s had a problem with responsibility in their own zone, and while he hasn’t gotten the most help in Phoenix, you’d have to think Yandle would play much better in Detroit with a great supporting cast. I wouldn’t have a problem with Detroit adding any one of the names listed, because any are better than what the Red Wings will trot out next season on paper. Bottom line, they need some significant outside help.
Chris Burke: I know that having another left-handed defenseman is, like, the stuff of Ken Holland’s nightmares, but my support also falls behind a move for Yandle. He’s coming off a career-best performance on the power play — 28 assists — and has a reasonable cap hit of $5.25 million for the next two seasons. He plays far better defense than Green and has been more productive than Myers.
The cost here might be somewhat prohibitive, what with Yandle locked up through 2015-16. Settling for Green just because he has an expiring contract, though, would be a foolhardy approach.
2. Should the Wings consider dipping back into free agency to take a shot on someone like Del Zotto, as Max suggested on our site Monday? Or how about a right-handed shot like Jamie McBain?
AT: McBain is intriguing seeing as he is so young and has had a very nice young career thus far. Del Zotto is the route I’d go though solely because of his pedigree. Regarded a high prospect, who admittedly shoots left, at one point, MDZ could still flourish in the right system. Detroit has been willing to put up with some defensive gaffes in the last few years. With Kronwall and Ericsson in their prime and taking the reins as the top pairing, Brendan Smith and Danny Dekesyer have blossomed into a solid second pairing. Del Zotto would have a chance to learn and grow and honestly is better than Kindl or Lashoff now, though he could stunt the development of a Ryan Sproul.
MD: It’s debatable whether the Red Wings should enter back into free agency considering a trade move for a young, elite defender is probably what the team needs most, but considering Ken Holland, chances are, they will enter back in and pick up a guy like Michael Del Zotto before being gutsy and making a deal. I’d favor Del Zotto because it seems like he’d be the type of guy who could flourish in Detroit. With a solid offensive background, he could be just what the team is looking for, and would be bought low enough that he could become a true value.
CB: I’d be plenty fine if they took a run at a guy like Del Zotto or McBain — low-cost, somewhat high-upside players — especially if a Jakub Kindl trade still could be coming down the pike. After whiffing on the big-name free agents, if there’s not a big deal for Myers/Yandle/Green in the works, where is the harm in using a little of that excess cap space to add competition? Are the Wings really convinced that Brian Lashoff is a career NHLer?
I still think Xavier Ouellet or especially Sproul deserves a shot to crack the roster, regardless of what else happens between now and the regular season. But considering how shaky the defense was last year, adding one more option could not hurt.