Steve Yzerman Has An Excellent Trade Deadline Conundrum

The Detroit Red Wings are surprisingly sitting in the top wild-card spot of the Eastern Conference. After their rousing 6-1 victory over the St.Louis Blues led by the trio of Dylan Larkin, Alex DeBrincat, and Patrick Kane there is real belief in these Red Wings. In a year with rebuilding teams like Ottawa and Buffalo that were expected to take a step forward Hockeytown has leapfrogged their division foes.

The additions over the last few years like JT Compher, Jake Walman, and Kane have made a significant impact. Being in a playoff spot creates an excellent problem for Detroit. When March 8th hits the calendars what should they do at the trade deadline? Selling is out of the question so let’s check out the options for Detroit at the Deadline.

Cautious Buy

Everyone would understand the cautious buy for Detroit. They don’t quite look like a Stanley Cup contender alongside the stacked Eastern Conference. The easy option is to get players that help along the fringes. Players that help the bottom 6 of your forward group and bottom pairs of the defensive core. Think of players like Dominik Kubalik, Brandon Duhaime, or Juuso Valimaki. Check out Area 51’s NHL Trade Targets Board for options both big and small. This would show the team that you believe in them without dipping into the prospect pool or draft capital. 

Do Nothing

Another option that won’t help the broadcasters like TSN and Sportsnet is to do nothing. An acceptable way of showing support in your team deciding all the pieces are in place to compete in the playoffs. Michael Rasmussen is fresh off a new 4-year extension and has emerged as a top 6 forward. Walman and Moritz Seider are minute eaters on the back end. But the remainder of the D-core is lackluster. It seems possible Yzerman does nothing but not even the Yzerplan couldn’t have expected this.


The pair of Flames defensemen Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev are both unrestricted free agents after this season making less than 5 million dollars. Hanifin sports a modified 8-team no-trade list so he can control his destination. Tanev is highly coveted as a right-shot defenseman with Calgary hoping for a 1st round pick in return. The last big option is Jake Guentzel which would be a massive swing for this Red Wings team. Guentzel would be adding another 30-goal goal scorer to an already lethal group. While goaltenders like Jacob Markstrom and Juuse Saros could be available, the Red Wings focus is likely on skaters.

NHL Trade Buzz: Hanifin, Tanev expected to play for Flames against Bruins |
Steve Yzerman Has An Excellent Trade Deadline Conundrum

It may make the most sense for Detroit to make an impactful add for next season but the rebuild process isn’t where it was 12 months ago. The most viable option for Steve Yzerman is to work around the fringes and trust in his top players to deliver. Doing nothing is not full-fledged faith in a team currently holding a wild card spot. While they’re not at the level of Boston, Florida, or Toronto this season the Detroit Red Wings have options.

Do you dip into the future to help the present? Either way, Steve Yzerman has an excellent trade deadline conundrum. Check out Area 51’s NHL coverage as the Trade Deadline approaches.