Dallas — The Red Wings made one trade Saturday to create some salary cap space and prepare for the future.
Are more moves on the way leading to Monday’s 3 p.m. (EST) trade deadline?
Don’t count on it.
The Red Wings traded defenseman Jakub Kindl to Florida Saturday in a move more about creating salary cap space for this summer when the Red Wings need to re-sign many key prospective free agents, and possibly mingle in the market beginning July 1.
Now, Kindl’s trade also creates some wiggle room leading to the trade deadline but whether that’ll be enough to acquire an impact player for the stretch run of this season is debatable.
Even general manager Ken Holland concedes it’s not entirely about salary cap limitations as much as it is keeping an eye on the future.
“Trades over the last few days have shown if you want to make a trade, there are creative ways to make a trade,” said Holland, who doesn’t believe the salary cap limitations currently are a major hindrance. “You can get creative. But this is everything to do with the young players in our organization.
“This is about where the Detroit Red Wings are at this point.”
Holland points out the organization made major moves last season.
Detroit acquired forward Erik Cole and defenseman Marek Zidlicky at the trade deadline to add to a veteran core around Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall.
“I went for it last year, we rolled the dice,” Holland said. “Given the age of our team last year, where it was, we made the decision to go all in.”
The Red Wings were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs and one of the prospects sent to Dallas for Cole — forward Mattias Janmark — has 13 goals for the Stars this season.
Cole injured his neck and is out of the NHL. Zidlicky was not re-signed and is playing with the slanders.
Holland might not be eager to go that route again.
Holland is again saying the Red Wings are more likely to stand pat than not and there are reasons to believe him this time.
The number of quality available players shrunk considerably over the weekend.
With the trades of forward Andrew Ladd and Dale Weise to Chicago, Eric Staal to the Rangers, Jiri Hudler to Florida and asking prices rising for the likes of Mikkel Boedker (Arizona) and Loui Eriksson (Boston), it’s not likely the Red Wings will find anything that perfectly suits their needs.
Holland isn’t interested in giving away prospects that appear to be set for major roles going into the future for a rental player that might stay in Detroit for a few months.
Sending Kindl to Florida for a 2017 sixth-round draft pick (the Red Wings also retain 15 percent of his $2.4 million salary this season and next) clears approximately $2 million in salary cap space for this summer.
With forwards Darren Helm, Drew Miller and defenseman Kyle Quincey all potential unrestricted free agents, and goalie Petr Mrazek, defensemen Danny DeKeyser and Marchenko, and forwards Riley Sheahan and Teemu Pulkkinen all potential restricted free agents, the Red Wings need to find all the financial room they can get.