Much has been written about Detroit Red Wings forward Luke Glendening. Great faceoff guy. Penalty kill extraordinaire. Very reasonable cap hit. So it’s no surprise when TSN’s Frank Seravelli writes that the Oilers are targeting a very specific type of forward :
"That’s a right shot centre who can take faceoffs, and win them on the penalty kill where they’ve struggled this year, just 42 per cent shorthanded that can help their kill,” Seravalli said on Insider Trading Thursday."
Oilers General Manager Ken Holland is kicking the tires on a veteran he’s familiar with. Now the real question is, after Steve Yzerman got the best of him in both the Mike Green and Andreas Athanasiou deals, will Holland go back to the well again?
Seravelli indicates that Kenny would be willing to part with a fourth round pick for Glendening. I think Yzerman could get a little more. Let’s take a closer look:
Holland Loves His Guys
Watching Holland navigate deals from 1998-2019 makes it easier to figure what he’s willing to do. He balked at giving up a first round pick for Athanasiou but he did yield two second round picks. Yzerman threw in Ryan Kuffner and he was on his way to winning that deal.
Holland loves his former players, as evidenced by snagging both Athanasiou and Mike Green while in the past, giving plenty of guys a second time around in Detroit after they left in free agency or via waivers. Quincey, Mikael Samuelsson, and Dan Cleary were all brought back for.a second time when it was evident they were not the same player they once were.
Glendening still has value, however. He has been unbelievable in the faceoff circle. He also still has the ability to disrupt some of the better offensive opponents if placed on the right line. And he’ll surprise with a goal here and there.
This only helps Yzerman’s case.
Who could the Detroit Red Wings Get for Glendening?
This is where creativity needs to be paramount–one of the many skills Yzerman has in his manager toolbox. With Holland presumably kicking the tires, it’s time to bait and switch. Dobber Prospects put out a great piece last year that breaks down the probability of draft picks making it to the NHL. Fourth round. picks have just a 10.9% of hitting. It’s not too much to ask to table that fourth round choice and instead, look into the prospect pool for Yzerman-like guys.
Scott Wheeler has the Oilers as the the 19th best prospect pool, which means that it tails off pretty quickly after the top three. Jesse Puljujärvi is still intriguing to many but if fans are frustrated by Jeff Blashill’s treatment of ice time with younger players, they’ll be downright furious with how Puljujärvi is handled. He’s offense first, and Blashill is all about 200 foot hockey. This season he already has eight goals–why would Holland give that up?
I don’t think Holland will part with Philip Broberg quite yet–especially since that was his first pick
That leaves us with Dylan Holloway, who checks the organizational boxes of playing in all three zones, and is versatile between the center and left wing. This season saw an impressive leap–First Team All Big Ten for the University of Wisconsin, 34 points (11-23) in 21 games, and explosive skating according to Wheeler. Reading the quotes from coaches and teammates doubles down on how he’s a character guy that would fit the Yzerman blueprint.
Could Yzerman get him? It would take more than Glendening and this is where the creativity kicks in.
Holland would get the cheap center he’s looking for, shoring up the faceoff issue. He’d get a heck of a backup in Bernier at half the price, who would give Dave Tippett a great tandem should Mikko Koskinen continue to be up and down. And he’d get his 2nd round pick back.
The Red Wings could even swap their second round pick instead of Edmonton’s, which would be higher in value. It could tip the scales if Holland isn’t sure. But I don’t see Yzerman giving up that high of a second for him.
Holloway’s stock is certainly up right now as a result of his great season at Wisconsin, but it can’t be discounted that in Holland’s mind, just making the playoffs gives the Oilers a shot at winning it all.
Adding the right pieces gets him closer, and potentially, puts him over the top. It could be a win for both sides.