There comes a point in each NHL season where you start to pay more attention to the arenas’ seating schemes.
There are scouts at every NHL game, as each team tries to update its reports and make plans for the future. But as the deadline approaches, who’s been spotted begins to become more than just a curiosity — though you can’t always tell who’s taking regular turns, who’s on a special mission, and who’s just passing by on their way somewhere else. You try not to put too much stock in it for this reason.
But some things force you to take a second look. Is it a coincidence that the Blues had a senior member of the front office approved for the last two games in Detroit? Or a hint that St. Louis might consider another deal with Detroit? Is it still too early to start deciding where to scout, ahem, scouting? These are the questions always.
As that point in the 2022-23 season appears to be approaching, it’s time to take a look at what options Detroit can have at this deadline with our 2023 Red Wings trade levels.
category “classic rental”
Adam Ernie: The Erne won’t be the highest-priced Red Wing on the rental market, but it seems like a natural fit to move in before the deadline. Playoff teams always strive for depth, and although Ernie isn’t a top scorer, he can add extra offense to his classic run-of-the-mill profile. His game is suitable for playoff hockey physique, and he can kill penalties as well. Don’t expect a huge return, but there should be interest in this profile. the athleteArthur Staple has already mentioned Ernie as a name to watch for the Rangers.
“Short Term Rollover Filter or Slice Trade?” class
Ole Mata: Määttä probably has the highest value of anyone at this level as a proven playoff linebacker, who has won two Stanley Cups already. He’s having a great season, too – his 15 points are already more than the past two seasons combined, and he’s on his way to career-highs despite a bout with pneumonia earlier this season. The combination of that illness and the rise of Jake Wollman dropped him to Detroit’s third spree recently – and his base numbers are down in that time frame – but Määtta’s consistent and predictable play was partly credited to a surprising first half by Filip Hronek. It would be an excellent hidden addition by the competitor.
The thing is, though, he’ll also be a great player to take on. Walman’s play, if continued, would likely make him UFA’s indoor priority on the left side of the blue line, but Määttä’s reliable play remains valuable to a team that will continue to break down the youth defense in seasons to come. He could be an ideal partner for Simon Edvinson next season, for example, if Detroit feels comfortable with him on the right side.
Potential trade return could be a factor in that decision, but it’s worth keeping in mind: The one-year, $2.25 million deal Määttä signed with Detroit this summer — while an attractive number for a squad — also reflects what his market was just about. Market. a few months ago. But Määttä has been doing well for the Red Wings and will be one of the more interesting names to watch until the deadline.
Pius Sutter and Oscar Sundqvist: Don’t expect the Red Wings to hold both Suter and Sundqvist, but we’re bringing them together here because they’re both UFAs suspended who offer two valuable attributes: versatility and defensive value. Both can play quarterback if needed—although the Red Wings required Sutter to do so more often—and are among the team’s most trusted killers.
Sundqvist takes a bigger role on the current team and brings an element of size that Suter doesn’t, but he may also have more commercial value due to his playoff experience. Sutter also quietly has the better base defensive numbers. Trading Sundqvist for a competitor and extending Suter for another year or two would be a logical approach, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see either dealt with him or even both — especially if Detroit feels satisfied with Marco Casper’s chances of playing in the NHL next season.
Jordan Ostrell: Oesterle has been a reliable defender in the Red Wings’ third pair the past two seasons, and his ability to get in and out of the lineup somewhat makes him a good option for depth for an extra year as well – especially if the team makes a Määttä move. That’s why it’s in this class, not the classic leased class. But Detroit should definitely listen if a competitor makes contact, and with several young defensive prospects on the way, Oesterle is a candidate for a move as well.
Tyler Bertuzzi: Now you know the situation with Bertuzzi. He is a longtime member of the Detroit Reconstruction Core, and is now just months away from unrestricted free agency. It’s possible that he and the Red Wings might be able to work something out before the deadline, but if they can’t, Detroit will have to explore moving him to avoid losing it for nothing. Complicating matters, though, is an injury-plagued contract, and the fact that he and the Red Wings had multiple opportunities to agree a long-term deal during Bertuzzi’s restrictive contract years. They couldn’t – they needed arbitration to decide on a contract one – and now he’ll soon be 28 and approaching what might be his best chance of securing a long-term commitment from someone.
A major part of the Red Wings’ recent era, Bertuzzi is a fan favorite and one of their few continuing sources of offense. But he must also have a market by deadline – though he will likely be hampered by a market that is likely to be swamped by the rental wings – especially if he can find his form after so much downtime. If that’s the case and there’s no contract in place, Bertuzzi feels he’s likely to make a move — and finally bring his solid record of success in the playoffs at lower levels to the NHL Postseason.
“Sell high with the term, or hold on?” Class
Philip HronkHronek has been a fixture on the Red Wings blue line for years, but he’s having a breakout season in 2022-23. His initial point total was up, and going into Monday’s game against Colorado, he was shooting over 50 percent of expected goals on the ice in a five-for-five. He plays a complete game and, at 25, could be a long-term top four player in Detroit if that play holds up.
But Detroit will also have to pay Hronek accordingly when his current deal expires in 2024, and as a young and productive linebacker, Hronek should have great commercial value, too. It may seem that the transfer of a productive young defender contradicts some of the additions that Detroit has made in this matter, but dealing with him in the midst of this breakthrough may be a way to recover a real project and potential capital.
The best bet is for the Red Wings to keep Hronek and continue building their blue line into an organizing powerhouse. But if you’re looking for an out-of-the-box commercial filter, Hronek might be the most interesting one.
Dominic Kobalek and David Peron: I don’t expect the Red Wings to move any of these players, who like Määttä are making a huge return on their deals in the 2022 free agent period. But contenders sometimes like to add players with stipulations – in order to get two cut-off ends out of the deal. , rather than one – and both of these nodes are highly controllable. Perón also has playoff experience in both Vegas and St. Louis.
But Detroit also brought Peron in for a reason, and he quickly became a leader in the locker room. Never say never if someone knocks the Red Wings away with a width, but they need it on and off the ice to keep making the moves forward.
Ditto for Kobalik, who was under-tendered by Chicago his last season and is having a great year with the Red Wings. Again, never say never, but especially with the way things have played out with Jakub Vrana, Kubalik’s top-level goal-scoring ability may be more valuable to the Red Wings in the lineup than in the commercial market.
category “nuclear option”
Dylan Larkin: Larkin was, not long after entering the league, a pillar of the Red Wings future. He’s the leader of the team, the best player on the team, and on many nights he’s the driver. But, when you’re a suspended, high-level, unrestricted free agent, you should at least have your name mentioned in this type of article.
Frankly, it’s hard to see a way to win the Red Wings a Larkin deal. He has a complete stipulation of not trading to one person – and even if he chooses to concede it, he’ll still have a say in a possible destination. This can drive the price down on the trade, even though the value of Larkin’s trade will be significant. But even then, it’s hard to imagine a way the Red Wings would improve their position by trading the only proven top line position in the organization. Detroit Previously He needs another center of this caliber, and he’s seen how hard it is to find them. Suddenly needing two—and losing its on-and-off-ice leader in the process—would set the team back years.
It remains my belief that Larkin and the Red Wings will make a deal — whether it’s before the trade deadline, or he goes to the wire like negotiations between Steve Yzerman and Steven Stamkos did in Tampa. There’s a lot at stake for Detroit, and Larkin has been clear he wants to stay.
And, in the end, if the Red Wings didn’t think they could complete this deal – with UFA having the most significant pending in many years – it’s hard to believe they didn’t act before the no-trade clause kicked in last summer.
(Top photo: Russell Labonte/USA Today)