Red Wings general manager Ken Holland doesn't anticipate making an impact trade ahead of the deadline. (David Guralnick / Detroit News)
Montreal, Quebec — The Red Wings definitely won’t be sellers at the March 5 trade deadline.
As for buyers, it sounds like they could be, but only for non-rentals — which usually makes finding a trade partner more difficult. So don’t be shocked if the Red Wings basically stand pat.
For sure, with the Red Wings only holding a one point lead in the wild-card standings, general manager Ken Holland wants to hold on to his prospects and first-round draft picks going forward.
“When you’re one point up on the last playoff spot, it’s hard to trade top prospects or high draft picks to rent a player,” Holland said. “At the same time, we’re always looking to upgrade if there’s a hockey trade out there. I call a hockey trade one that affects your team into next season (a non-rental player). I’m open to it.
“I don’t see us paying a big price for a rental. I don’t believe that’s the direction we should go. But you never know when you get to Wednesday.”
Holland then added:
“We’re not selling.”
The Red Wings would like to add another experienced defenseman.
“On defense, beyond the seven (on the NHL roster) we have a lot of kids in Grand Rapids,” said Holland, adding defenseman Alexey Marchenko will be out six to eight weeks in Grand Rapids with an ankle injury. “We’re set in goal.
“With the development of (Tomas) Jurco, (Gustav) Nyquist, (Tomas) Tatar, and (Riley) Sheahan, and you have a healthy (Johan) Franzen and (Pavel) Datsyuk, and we expect (Stephen) Weiss back next week, I don’t know if I can make a deal for many forwards out there that will be better than those forwards.
“This time of year you’re always looking for defensemen, but obviously there are a lot of teams looking for defensemen.”
Holland views this season similarly to last season, when the Red Wings stood pat at the trade deadline, got healthy, and still reached the playoffs.
“We weren’t a buyer or a seller,” Holland said. “I felt if we could get our team together, we could play our way in which we did. Unfortunately we were a goal short from going into the Final Four.”