Nick Leddy is the one trade chip that Detroit Red Wings General Manager Steve Yzerman must trade. Leddy was acquired from the New York Islanders last summer for a 2nd round pick and Yzerman doesn’t trade draft picks very often. In order for Yzerman to deal Leddy, the return will likely match what Yzerman dealt for the veteran defenseman.
The trade deadline is just over one week away and Detroit General Manager Steve Yzerman has started to make his mark. Last week, Yzerman acquired Olli Juolevi off waivers from Florida. Before activing Jakub Vrana, the Red Wings had to open a roster spot and quickly placed Danny DeKeyser on waivers. When DeKeyser went unclaimed, Detroit placed him on the IR.
Yzerman will likely be quite busy leading up to the deadline. One of the benefits that Yzerman has is that each of these teams have very little or no cap space left, so they will each pay a premium for Detroit to retain salary.
Just to provide an example, Nick Leddy has a cap hit of $5.5M annually. This contract makes it virtually impossible to trade without retaining salary. The more the Red Wings retain, the steeper the price it will be to make a deal happen.
Here is a look at the six teams who have defenseman on the IR and could use Leddy’s services.
The Carolina Hurricanes are currently at the top of the Eastern Conference standings. After 58 games, the Hurricanes have a record of 41-12-5. The Hurricanes should have a long playoff run and have only lost four games at home in regulation all season.
Carolina currently have Tony DeAngelo on the IR, but only have seven healthy defensemen on the active NHL roster. Similar to many of the top teams in the NHL, the Hurricanes are pressed against the cap and according to capfriendly.com, currently do not have any cap space. The Red Wings would have to retain a large portion of Leddy’s contract in order to make this trade happen. Another possibility would be for the two teams to make a contract for contract trade.
If Carolina goes after Leddy to add depth, the Red Wings will likely make them pay dearly. It would probably cost the Hurricanes a 2nd round pick and possibly a prospect. Everything will depend on how much of Leddy’s contract the Red Wings will be asked to retain.