Red Wings: Analyzing Possible Trade Chip, Thomas Greiss

Red Wings goalie, Thomas Greiss. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Red Wings goalie, Thomas Greiss. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

With the trade deadline only a couple of days away, it is likely that the Detroit Red Wings will be making some trade decisions as the word on the street is that everyone aside from Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider is available. Of the two Detroit goaltenders, one has raised hopes and speculations for a trade throughout the 2021-22 season so far and that would be Thomas Greiss. Although there has not been a clear indicator of a goalie trade for Detroit, why is there still a push to trade Greiss?

Having played for San Jose, Arizona, Pittsburgh, New York (Islanders), and now Detroit- Thomas Greiss has had a lengthy NHL career starting in the 2007-08 season. Greiss was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2004 NHL Draft and has since played 340 games throughout a span of 13 seasons. With 153 career wins and an average save percentage of .912, Greiss is a decently average NHL goaltender on paper.

In his two seasons with Detroit, Greiss has yet to have a season with more wins than losses. The 2020-21 season left him with eight wins and 15 losses with a total of 79 goals against on 894 shots against (.912 SV%). However, this season has looked worse for Greiss as he has eight wins and 10 losses out of 24 games played so far. Having faced 628 shots, he has allowed 71 goals- dropping his season save percentage to a .887 which is his lowest since his first NHL season (2007-08).

This 2021-22 season has been his worst career season statistically out of his 13 seasons played. From his 2nd season until now, Greiss has maintained a goals-against per game of under 3.00 while in his three-game rookie season he had a 3.26 GA/G and has a whopping 3.77 GA/G so far this year. There have been some great games for him this year such as his game vs. the Rangers on February 17th but his bad games seem to outweigh the good ones by a large margin.

So, if the Red Wings decide to move on from Thomas Greiss in search of a stronger backup goaltender for Alex Nedeljkovic as Sebastian Cossa is still developing in the CHL, who could they look at?

Jordan Binnington – St. Louis

The Stanley Cup winning goaltender carries a hefty contract (six-year, $36 million) compared to his counterpart Ville Husso who is on a two-year, $1.5 million contract. The move of Binnington would be to create flexibility in the salary cap and sources say St. Louis GM Doug Armstrong has reached out to teams on the goaltending market and proposed Binnington if they’re willing to take his salary on. Although his 2018-19 Stanley Cup season was remarkable, he has not been as dangerous as of recently, which makes him desirable but only to teams with the cap space available.

MacKenzie Blackwood – New Jersey

Blackwood has had a consistent struggle with a heel injury this season with the Devils that have made it hard for him to have a consistent season. On top of the injury, there were issues surrounding his vaccination status and decisions at the beginning of the 2021-22 season that created tension between Blackwood and the Devils organization. Given the combination of vaccination and primarily injury-related frustrations, it is likely that he will be a trade chip for New Jersey before the expiration of his contract in 2023. While still being a young goalie, Blackwood carries a career .908 SV% and a rough 2021-22 season with nine wins and losses, an .894 SV%, and being out on injured reserve. Taking him on would be a potential risk for Detroit as they are in the market for a strong or consistent backup but he is still a young and skilled player that could develop more on a young team.

Marc-Andre Fleury – Chicago

Being by far the biggest goalie name in the NHL and one of Chicago’s most valuable assets, any team would love to have Fleury on their roster. It is likely that he will move to a more successful or cup-chasing team that knocks Detroit out of the picture off the bat, but it is always interesting to speculate on what a goalie such as Fleury could do for the Red Wings.

Alexandar Georgiev – New York Rangers

Georgiev (26) is a young and skillful goaltender with a career .908 SV% and 120 games played. However, this 2021-22 season has been a rough one for Georgiev as he has his lowest career save percentage (.892) in just 24 games played so far. As the backup goalie to rockstar Igor Shesterkin, Georgiev’s performance just does not stack up to partner. Since he will be a restricted free agent come the end of this season, a trade is inevitable but it is only a matter of where. Being similar in age to Red Wings starting goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic, Georgiev could be a solid backup at least for a couple of seasons as he has the talent and youth that this team is looking for.

Top Internal Prospect – Sebastian Cossa

As of now (roughly three days before the trade deadline), the Red Wings are not actively searching the goaltender market. Perhaps GM Steve Yzerman is riding things out until prospect Sebastian Cossa of the Edmonton Oil Kings is ready to give it a shot in the NHL which is expected to be in the next couple of years. On the other hand, it could simply be an issue of Thomas Greiss not being a valuable enough trade chip to bring in the talent that this team would want. All there is to do now is to wait and speculate as the trade deadline rolls in on Monday at 3 PM (EST).

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