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Holland: Wings' trading stance could evolve

Gregg Krupa
The Detroit News

General manager Ken Holland confirmed Thursday that if the Red Wings are going to miss the playoffs, they may move some of their current roster. There will be three opportunities to do that, this season, with the expansion draft added to the March 1 trade deadline and the entry draft.

With the advent of free-agency and the hard cap on salaries, trades have increasingly ranked third behind draft picks and free agents in the NHL talent hunt.

But, in last place in the Eastern Conference entering play Thursday and plainly pointed toward missing the playoffs, the Red Wings have some unrestricted free agents, such as Thomas Vanek and Brendan Smith, who might entice teams looking for more offense up front and a bit of jump on the back end.

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Speaking on 97.1 The Ticket on Thursday, Holland reaffirmed some long-standing positions: The Red Wings will not trade “future assets” for something that provides modest short-term improvement, and it takes two to tango.

“If you make a decision that you’re going to be a seller,” said Holland, “somebody’s got to want what you’re looking to sell. We’re not going to trade future assets to try to bring in somebody to make us a little better. We’re not going to be a buyer.

“We’re either going to stand pat or we’re going to see if teams have interest in some of our players.”

Holland said he would determine the team’s stance over the next three or four weeks.

“I don't think anyone is untouchable,” he said.