Red Wings: What’s Best in the Bottom of the West?

We’re still a ways out from the NHL trade deadline, but the way the standings are working out so many  teams are going to be in the hunt at the end,  odds are when deadline time rolls around the list of teams to purge will look similar to what it does now.

With so many teams in the hunt, it should be a very good sellers market. The teams out of it are actually chalk full of talent, and there are quite a few expiring contracts teams will want to get something for. It will be a great deadline to get some pieces to revamp your organization.

That leaves six or seven teams for the rest of the league to purge.

Making things even more interesting is that some of the top tier teams in the league have lots of room  to spend at the deadline day. Today we look at teams that appear all but out of it in the Western Conference.

Here is a look at the teams out of the race in the West, and some players the Red Wings may want to look at, and others they should stay away from.

Columbus

A small market team that spent money for a roster that looked formidable on paper. It LOOKS like they have a lot of guys stuck for the long term, but with results on the ice getting players to waive no trade clauses shouldn’t be too tough. That being said patience may payoff if they find the right coach for this unit. I don’t think they blow it up completely, but obviously a few tweaks are due.

Most likely available: Vinne Prospal, Kristian Huselius, Samuel Pahlsson

These guys could be great additions to a lot of teams, but If I were the Wings I wouldn’t bother with any of them.  All these players are long in the tooth secondary scoring.  With the emergence of  Val Filppula and Jiri Hudler this season and a revamped Todd Bertuzzi, there is no reason to go get older or less productive versions of them. The Wings are looking for a major addition so unless Rick Nash or James Wisniewski become available, don’t expect a deal between these teams.  (It should be noted however, that because its a small market team spending a ton of money and getting worse results than when they don’t spend, it is not out of the realm of possibility for Columbus to have a fire sale.)

Anaheim

Not only a talent laden team, but a proven winner in the past. I don’t think anyone can explain why they are where they are, but fighting the jackets for most futile in the west isn’t where  this group of veterans should be. Getzlaf, Perry, Ryan, and Selanne are still great talent, and just about all of the supporting cast will be free agents come summer time. If I were the Ducks I’d keep my core of Perry, Ryan, and Getzlaf, and find some better supporting cast through trade and free agency, but it would also be a great market to blow the whole thing up.

It’s my guess the entire roster could be had. Lots of talent. Selanne seems like the most sure fire.

Proven playoff winners, highly skilled gritty forwards, and veteran talent. Any of these guys are welcome in Detroit, despite their harsh words of the past.  Selanne bolsters the powerplay and has managed to put lead his team in points. A good rental and the best hash mark standing, open net finding player his age. Could he play nice with Nik Kronwall?

Edmonton 

The Oilers are a young up and coming team, so its hard to say they’ll move much. Ryan Smyth is a player on a one year contract with playoff value, but it’s possible he just goes right back to the Oilers. The Wings probably wouldn’t mind, Ryan Smyth definitely falls under the blanket of “hungry veteran.” He could be the Dallas Drake factor the Wings had in 2008. He’s a good guy to have on your playoff roster and  a guy you can plug in on a second line that will go to the nasty places on the ice. Having the top two net front presence in the playoffs would make you a tough out against any team. This could be a great opportunity for Smyth to take his shot at the cup, then head back to Edmonton where they are still a couple years away from being a contender.   Ales Hemsky was/is overrated and overpaid. He will probably end up somewhere else by next fall, wouldn’t put him in a Wings jersey even as a rental.

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