Wings Talk Trade Deadline
Ohhhh this would be amusing from a fan standpoint...
NEW YORK -- With the NHL trade deadline ticking down to three weeks, the question for the Red Wings is: Deal or no deal?
Pre-salary cap, the Wings often were among the league's biggest buyers. Now, the deadline is earlier, which means fewer teams are out of the running, and everyone must operate within a $44-million budget.
Last season, the Wings barely made a ripple in acquiring defenseman Cory Cross. This season, general manager Ken Holland is looking to make bigger waves. Even though the Wings' 4-3 victory over the Rangers Monday tied them for second overall in the NHL, they could benefit by adding a top-six forward.
But so could a lot of other teams, and that's why the weeks leading up to Feb. 27 are so engrossing.
"It is going to be interesting, just because of how early the trade deadline is and how many teams think they have a chance to get into the playoffs," Kirk Maltby said. "I think it's not going to be like that last-day thing where you see a hundred trades all at once. I think the last week -- week-and-a-half, whatever -- is going to be done within that time frame."
Chris Chelios pointed out that among the names being mentioned are St. Louis' Bill Guerin and Keith Tkachuk and Philadelphia's Peter Forsberg. The Wings are interested in Forsberg, and the fact that he used to play for Colorado hardly matters. "I would take him in a heartbeat," Chelios said.
Maltby, part of the Detroit-Colorado rivalry during its heyday in the mid-to-late-1990s, said the only two he could never picture in Detroit were Claude Lemieux and Patrick Roy. What about Forsberg?
"It'd be weird, but a guy like that, you'd obviously love to have on your team," Maltby said. "He's all-world. Trust me, if Peter Forsberg is knocking on your door and you have an opportunity to get him, you don't turn that kind of opportunity down."
Forsberg, when healthy, is as clutch as they come and exactly the sort of playoff performer that could help put a team over the top. In the four seasons since the Wings won their last Stanley Cup, they've won one playoff series, and having Forsberg on the bench would help.
"If we can do something without affecting the chemistry of our team," Chelios said, "that'd be great."
NOTEBOOK: Jiri Hudler scored his ninth goal Monday, showing his typical efficiency for a guy who averages 8:33 minutes per game and played just 4:26 against the Rangers. "Huds has that ability just to score -- he's one of these guys that the puck goes in the net for," coach Mike Babcock said. "He gets more goals per minutes played than anybody in the National Hockey League." Hudler's goal, set up by Valtteri Filppula, came 2:31 into the third period and began Detroit's rally. Hudler scored into an empty net from the right side of the crease. "I knew Fill was going to pass to me. I shoot wide, and their D kick it right back to me," Hudler said. "Couldn't miss that one."