Ted Kulfan’s top NHL trade-deadline targets

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Go through the gallery above to see the top NHL trade-deadline targets, listed alphabetically, by Ted Kulfan of The Detroit News.

Detroit — The NHL trade deadline has lost its luster over the years.

Increasingly it’s the Entry Draft where teams take stock of what they have — and with clear mind and without the hurried rush of the deadline — to make final tweaks before the start of July 1 free agency.

But make no mistake, when Wednesday’s 3 p.m. deadline hits, there likely is to be significant movement, with some teams surely increasing their chances of winning the Stanley Cup.

This season, the Red Wings aren’t going to be one of those buyers looking to add that one final piece.

Prolonged inconsistency, streaky goaltending, a terrible power play, and simply not enough offense has all combined to put the Red Wings closer to the basement of the Eastern Conference, rather than in the playoff picture.

For that reason, general manager Ken Holland is much more likely to be a seller, trading away potential unrestricted free agents such as Thomas Vanek and Brendan Smith, and possibly Steve Ott, to get either young assets or draft picks before the veterans hit the July 1 market.

Around the NHL, with so many close races and so many teams still feeling as if they have a chance to make a push into the playoffs, the actual number of teams selling off players might be limited.

But there are some intriguing names for playoff contenders to think about.