Monday, March 2, 2015

Detroit Deadline Insanity: Wings Make a Second Trade

Hold onto your long-johns, Hockeytown, or else I'm about to blow them clean off.

The Detroit Red Wings have made another trade before the deadline this afternoon.  Yes, I said another, as in they have now made two.

What reality is this!?

What we have today is a trade between Detroit and New Jersey that sends right-handed D-man Marek Zidlicky to the Wings in exchange for a conditional third-round pick.  The condition on the pick upgrades it to a third and fifth-round pick if the Wings make the Eastern Conference Finals, and the fifth further upgrades to a second-round pick if the Wings go to the Cup Finals.

Zidlicky is described as a mobile, puck-moving defenseman.  His hard, right-handed shot will be a big asset on an already potent powerplay and his experience will allow him to slot in nicely as a 3rd or 4th defender.

So...just to review: Yesterday evening we got a big, gritty winger who can play either side of the ice, and now today, we pick up a right-handed D-man to eat PP minutes.  In return, we gave up two prospects who were longshots to even crack our lineup and a small handful of draft picks.

Not too shabby.

We'll get our first chance to see our new Wings on Wednesday when they face off against the New York Rangers.

As far as this year's trade deadline for the Red Wings, though, I have four words, ladies and gents: Winner winner, chicken dinner.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Wings Make Their Move, Acquire Cole from Stars

One had to wonder if this year would be like many others for the Detroit Red Wings.  Would the trade deadline come and go with no action from the brain trust in Hockeytown?  We could almost hear the canned speeches of 'We like our team' or 'Our players coming back from injury, THOSE are our deadline acquisitions'.  We'd heard them all before, and no doubt expected we would hear them again.

But not this time.

In a deal that would only be considered a blockbuster move here in Red Wings Nation, the Wings have picked up big forward Erik Cole from the Dallas Stars.

Let's face it: anything more than a swap of draft picks in Detroit is blockbuster nowadays, just let me have this!

As Dallas sends Cole and a third-round pick to the Wings, Detroit sends back a pair of prospects (Mattias Jannmark and Backman respectively) and a second-round pick.

Personally? I love this deal.  Yes, we're getting a rental player--Cole's contract is up this summer--but he adds size and grit up front that we've been lacking for some time.  Yes, we have gritty guys, but Abby, Helmer et al are not big bodies, and Helm is now out for an undetermined amount of time.  Also yes, we do have some big bodies on the team, but besides Ericsson who has only recently gotten into some fisticuffs, none of those bigger bodies really throw their weight around...I mean, do I even need to bring up Franzen...?  Also? It's not like Cole doesn't produce, with 33 points in 57 games this season on a bottom-dwelling Dallas team playing most regularly with Jason Spezza and Jamie Benn.  Give him Zetterberg and Nyquist to play with and let's see what happens, hmm?

No, I think this deal will work out nicely.  We didn't lose any impact players, and we got one in return to toughen up our lineup a little, just before the playoffs.  All in all, no complaints from me.

That said: Welcome to Hockeytown, Erik Cole!