Now that the 2014 NHL trade deadline has passed and hockey fans everywhere have had some time to digest and reflect on all the exciting roster moves that took place yesterday I figured I would take some time to elaborate more on the trade that interests most who visit this website and dive a little bit deeper into the Detroit Red Wings acquiring David Legwand from the Nashville Predators.
As a Red Wings/hockey fan who has lived in Nashville for the last 7 years I have had a lot of time and first hand opportunities to see Mr. Legwand play the game as well as develop an opinion on him as a player along the way.
So let’s take a closer look at the newest citizen of Hockeytown.
1. First and foremost remember that Legwand WANTED to come to Detroit. This trade was not an example of a player being blind-sided and being told to pack his bags and leave town. It was David’s choice to waive his no-trade clause and leave the only team that he has ever played for, the same team that he both set and holds franchise records for in points, goals, assists, game-winning goals and overtime points. The bottom line here is David Legwand wants to be a Detroit Red Wing.
2. This trade was a trade born out of necessity. With Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Weiss and now Helm out of the lineup the Wings were in desperate need of a top line center. Tonight against the Avalanche Legwand will get his chance to fill that top line center role he is accustomed to playing when he skates between Franzen and Nyquist. It’s not a line anybody would have ever predicted at the beginning of the season but it’s a line that I’m excited about.
3. Legwand is veteran and we all know how the Red Wings love veteran players. With 956 regular season games and 47 playoff games under his belt it’s easy to say that Legwand has “been there” and “done that”, he just hasn’t got the championship t-shirt yet. This type of experience will definitely not hurt Detroit’s hope of extended their 22 year playoff streak.
4. “Leggy” will bring a physical presence to the Red Wings. At 6 ft 2 and 200+ pounds Legwand is a grinder known for his gritty play that helped the Predators earn the nickname “Smashville”.
5. As my fellow blogger John Evans covered in his story on this site yesterday, Legwand is already a proven hockey player who has put up 40 points in 62 games with Nashville so far this season, numbers everybody was hoping Stephen Weiss would have produced. There’s no mystery or speculation with David Legwand unlike Järnkrok who the Preds now have to try to keep from returning to Europe at the end of this season according to rumors/reports.
6. By adding Legwand the Wings also add another great two-way player. With all of the inconsistencies on the blue line this season adding a defensive minded forward will be huge assist to Detroit for the remainder of the year.
7. David Legwand is made in the USA and you’ve got to love that.
8. He’s a proven power play guy and any help on the PP would be great for the Wings.
9. By adding Legwand to Detroit’s roster that means there is one less Red Wing Killer out there in the NHL. Like I said, I live in Nashville and have seen my fair share of the Preds and Legwand putting the hurt on us over the years. It’s nice to have him on our side. Now if we can just do something about Joe Pavelski.
10. Finally, but certainly not lastly, Legwand is a very durable player who has been able to stay healthy for a majority of his career in the NHL. In the last 8 seasons he has only missed a total of 52 games for various reasons. Considering his age and physical play this is an impressive statistic. Given the amount of injuries the Red Wings have had to endure this year, especially at the center position, Legwand will be a nice addition in the final stretch of the season.
I’ve read a lot of mixed reactions on the internet since this trade was announced and I understand both sides of the argument. Everybody liked Patrick Eaves there’s no argument there and everybody was high on all they heard about Järnkrok being the next Zetterberg but when you take a step back and let it all sink in I personally believe it was a good trade for everybody involved. One of the great things about being a sports fan is being able to develop a passionate opinion and then debating it passionately with others.
Let’s all get ready to enjoy the Lidstrom ceremony tonight and wish Legwand good luck in his first game wearing the winged wheel.