Definitely. Trade Pavel Datsyuk if the right deal comes along.
In recent weeks the debate of whether or not to ship Datsyuk out of town is an issue that has been raised on more than one occasion. Not up for debate is the question of who the best player on the Red Wings is; Datsyuk is indisputably the most valuable asset on the team. Datsyuk’s offensive zone prowess combined with his defensive puck plundering skills separates him from every other player in the league. In Datsyuk the Red Wings have the most complete hockey player on the planet. Nevertheless, when considering the state of the Red Wings’ defense and the fact that Datsyuk isn’t getting any younger at 34 years of age, this might be the perfect time for Ken Holland to pull the trigger on a blockbuster move.
Without being too melodramatic the Wings have reached the crossroads. The current team as we sit today has a less than favourable chance of winning the Stanley Cup. Detroit wasn’t good enough to get out of the first round last season and that was with Nicklas Lidstrom. If the Wings had actually landed Ryan Suter this past summer he still would have been a downgrade from Lidstrom. So, where does that leave Carlo Colaiacovo? On paper it’s not a stretch to say that Detroit might have the weakest blueline in the Western Conference.
Moving Datsyuk would fetch the Red Wings a huge return. For any team challenging for the Stanley Cup Datsyuk would transform them from challengers to frontrunners in a hurry. But, the big question is what team(s) would have the pieces to entice the Wings enough to make a deal for Datsyuk?
New York Rangers
- They have a huge crop of quality defenseman in their system
- N.Y. has the money and they aren’t afraid to spend
- Rangers are in the Eastern Conference and the Wings would likely prefer to trade Datsyuk to a team they don’t have to play on a regular basis
Why It’s Problematic: N.Y. has too much money and would have to do some serious restructuring to make room for Datsyuk’s large salary.
Possible Trade(s): Datsyuk for Girardi, Kreider, and draft pick OR Datsyuk for McDonagh, Kreider, draft pick
- Like the Rangers the Canadiens have a deep talent pool that would interest the Wings
- Montreal is an Eastern Conference team with a history of acquiring or showing interest in talented European players (Kovalev comes to mind)
- Rabid fan base eager for the organization to make a bold statement indicating they are dedicated to restoring Les Habs back to former glory
Why It’s Problematic: Habs have the talent, but might not be willing to part with it.
Possible Trade(s): Datsyuk for Tinordi and Pacioretty OR Datsyuk, Xavier Ouellet, draft pick for Galchenyuk and Subban
With that being said, Johan Franzen is another valuable commodity in Detroit’s possession. At 32 years old, the 6’3 and 223lbs Franzen is coming off a solid regular season where he scored 29 goals and added 27 assists. On any given night Franzen can be the most dominating force on the ice. In the Wings 2008 Stanley Cup run Franzen was nearly unstoppable and led the Wings with 13 playoff goals. Franzen would certainly generate a lot of interest from teams around the league. Although he takes too many nights off with his Houdini routine and might not net the Wings as big of a return as Datsyuk could, Franzen would still warrant some serious talent coming Detroit’s direction.
Yes the Wings should consider trading Datsyuk, but not before exhausting all possible Franzen trade options first.