Detroit – The trade deadline must be getting closer.
That is easy to figure out because, lately, there have been numerous suggestions, proposals, recommendations and substantial pleading in the mailbox for just about every Red Wings player to be traded.
Anywhere. And for anybody.
This time of year is always fun, but also a bit perplexing.
Sure, it’s fun to conjure potential trades, some of which could come close to happening.
But, fans have to be realistic.
Consider the opposing side, the other team potentially you’re dealing with.
Look, they may or may not want Jonathan Ericsson or Trevor Daley, or as Pete in Wyandotte so creatively composed the trade possibility, Tomas Tatar (something about Tatar’s lack of scoring).
But that team likely isn’t going to give up a first-round draft pick, or multiple first-round draft picks, to do so.
They want to win, too, and are looking toward their own future. Nobody is going to be giving up 1st-round draft picks for talent you deem expendable.
Just warning you.
So, don’t be shocked if most of those players are still here after the Feb. 26 deadline — and the Red Wings only make a marginal splash.
Much to the chagrin of Tatar, Gustav Nyquist and Jimmy Howard fans, and many like them.
Here’s a sampling of this week’s mailbag:
Question: I’d hate to see any of the team traded, but I understand the logic. It was stated in the article that they want to “Change Holland’s mind”, but the only way I can see that happening is if they win games. Pat Flannery, Detroit (via email)
Answer: This group does seem particularly tight, Pat, and it’s clear they’d like to stay together and attempt to get on a roll and qualify for the playoffs.
But that’s, simply, not going to be easy. And just not probable.
This team hasn’t shown any sort of ability to string together a long stretch of winning hockey. And, then, couple that with the daunting road schedule in March, and it’s difficult to see this roster moving upward in the standings.
You have to look from it from general manager Ken Holland’s perspective.
There are assets here (Mike Green, Nyquist, Tatar, Howard or Petr Mrazek), which can help the Red Wings build the talent pool in their organization.
Green will be an unrestricted free agent and may, or may not, be re-signing here. So, might as well, get something for him.
Q. Once again the Wings had to start the game (Thursday) down one goal!! THANKS to the goal given up on the SECOND shot Jimmy faced. Dave Wenger, Cheboygan (via email)
A. Dave, I’m replaying both those first-period goals Tampa scored and, have to tell you, it’s impossible to blame Howard on either.
Matter of fact, none of the four goals Tampa scored were bad goals by Howard.
Those were world-class goals, elite plays, by world-class players (specifically Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov).
I know you’re frustrated with him, Dave, but Jimmy Howard has been the least of this team’s worries this season.
Howard has been one of the positives, and it wouldn’t be surprising if a few teams are sniffing around, wondering what the price would be for a starting goaltender you can get two playoffs out of (this season, and next).
Q. It seems rare to have a team that has so few players any other team would want. On their entire roster they have two players worth keeping, (Dylan) Larkin and (Anthony) Mantha. Richard Lewis (via email)
A. Richard, there are some. There will be a decent demand for Green, although he might considered a luxury for many contenders (expect the return to be similar to what Brendan Smith fetched the Red Wings, a pair of second-rounders, or a second- and third-round haul).
Nyquist and Tatar have had rebound seasons, but the interest in either has been so tepid in the past, it would be a bit surprising of they’ll be moved by the deadline (maybe, closer to June’s Entry Draft?).
Keep an eye on Luke Glendening, who is another player who’s had a rebound season, has a manageable contract, and could help a contender on the penalty kill and as a defensive forward.
There are players other teams can use.