The trade deadline has come and gone. The Detroit Red Wings were active on both sides of the spectrum confusing many fans, media, and FNHL "experts". At the time of the deadline, they sat in seventh place in the east. Only a few points up on spots eight to eleven. So anything could happen. Make the playoffs, not make the playoffs and it seems GM Hetherington played both sides of the fence.
It started a few weeks ago when Detroit sent veteran dman Tomas Malec to the first-place Nashville Predators for rookie dman Alexander Alexeyev and a second-round draft pick and cash. Then the day before the deadline they traded leading point scorer Jakub Klepis to the New York Rangers for Tanner Pearson, a first and a second-round draft pick. Those were the two big "selling" type of moves.
They also "bought" by picking up offensive dman Christian Ehrhoff as a rental from the Colorado Avalanche for a second-round draft pick. Then on trade deadline day, they made a massive move in picking up UFA to be goaltender Tuukka Rask from the Carolina Hurricanes for Givani Smith and a second-round pick. They also then picked up a new centerman in March-Andre Cliche from the Ottawa Senators for Marcus Pettersson, Devon Toews, a second and third-round draft pick.
So, all in all, it looks like this;
IN - Tuuka Rask, Marc-Andre Cliche, Christian Ehrhoff, Alex Alexeyev, 1st, $1,500,000
OUT - Tomas Malec, Jakub Klepis, Givani Smith, Marcus Petterson, Devon Toews, 2nd, 3rd
Pretty interesting types of moves. Some consider Cliche an upgrade on Klepis especially when you consider he is signed for another season. Rask has put up some fantastic numbers this year despite playing on an almost last-place Hurricanes roster so his upside versus Malec's upside seems to be a win for the Red Wings. Alex Alexeyev is considered a better prospect than either Givani Smith, Marcus Petterson, or Devon Toews. A first-round draft pick was also added. So it seems GM Hetherington believes he hit it out the park at the deadline;
"We did a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Klepis played amazingly for us, one of my favourite moves as a GM here in Detroit. Just with his pending free agency, we had to look into moving him and getting a first plus for him was great for us. We've had our eye on Tuukka Rask for quite some time now and he's a top goalie in the league and he's here to help us down the stretch. We love Cam Talbot's game this year as well, but when we had the chance to add Rask who can mentor Talbot a bit here down the stretch for what we consider a pretty cheap cost. We had to jump at it. We feel the franchise is better today moving forward towards the playoffs and in the future with what we added in these deals. Great few days for the Red Wings franchise." stated GM Hetherington shortly after the trade deadline.
For consideration, online prospect rankings have Alexander Alexeyev now ranked as the team's 7th ranked prospect. While the other prospects that left Detroit were ranged 11 to 18th best prospect in the organization.
At the time of print, the Red Wings sit in 7th place. Two points behind 6th and only 3 points above 9th. So there is still a lot of chance for movement. There is some very interesting potential first-round playoff matchups if the Wings can make it. Second place Montreal Canadiens just added future hall-of-famer and Detroit legend Gilbert Brule at the trade deadline. Also, the third-ranked New York Rangers is where Detroit just traded Jakub Klepis.
But can they make the playoffs? Only time will tell.