4 players the Detroit Red Wings should target ahead of the trade deadline

EDMONTON, CANADA - DECEMBER 23: Luke Schenn #2 of the Vancouver Canucks shoots the puck in the first period against the Edmonton Oilers on December 23, 2022 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Lawrence Scott/Getty Images)
EDMONTON, CANADA - DECEMBER 23: Luke Schenn #2 of the Vancouver Canucks shoots the puck in the first period against the Edmonton Oilers on December 23, 2022 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Lawrence Scott/Getty Images) /
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Sean Monahan, Detroit Red Wings, Red Wings
(Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Red Wings should look to add forward Sean Monahan.

Sean Monahan is a bit of a reclamation project, and a pending free agent with a cap hit of $6.375 million. Monahan is rehabbing a lower-body injury that’s kept him out of Montreal’s lineup since December. It has yet to be determined if Monahan will be healthy enough to be a target before Friday’s deadline, but if he is, he’s someone Detroit needs to consider.

Monahan, 28, is a three-time 30-goal scorer but has struggled to produce offensively over the past few seasons. Over his last 140 games (the last three seasons, two with Calgary and one in Montreal), Monahan has recorded 24 goals and 68 points while averaging nearly 16 minutes per night and skating to a minus -26 rating. During that span, Monahan has recorded just ten power-play goals and maintained a shooting percentage of 9.1%.

Monahan has recorded six goals and 17 points over 25 games this year in Montreal and is over 55% in the faceoff circle. The veteran 6-foot-2 center would bring some much-needed size to Detroit’s lineup following the injury to Michael Rasmussen. On Saturday night, Rasmussen took a shot off the kneecap and will be out indefinitely, a really tough blow to the Detroit Red Wings. Rasmussen had been playing exceptionally well this season as a middle-six winger. Rasmussen also can play center but has excelled since moving to the wing playing primarily with Andrew Copp at center.

During his first seven seasons with the Calgary Flames, Monahan totaled 194 goals and 411 points over 541 games. During that stretch, Monahan skated as a top-six forward before falling out of favor with the coaching staff during his final two seasons with the Flames. Over those seven seasons, the talented center maintained a shooting percentage of 14.9% and a faceoff percentage of 50.3%.

The Detroit Red Wings could use a center that is effective in the faceoff circle. Following captain Dylan Larkin, Detroit goes with Andrew Copp, Joe Veleno, and Pius Suter down the middle. Of that group, Larkin is the only center winning more than 50% of his draws (53.7%). Both Veleno and Suter have spent time on the wing. Detroit has recently seen some healthy competition among their wingers, with head coach Derek Lalonde rotating a healthy scratch between Jonatan Berggren, Filip Zadina, Jakub Vrana, and Dominik Kubalik.

Next. Steve Yzerman has replenished a once-bare Red Wings prospect pool. dark

Lucas Raymond is expected to return to Detroit’s lineup Monday or Tuesday against Ottawa, which virtually replaces Rasmussen in the lineup. Adding Monahan will bring additional competition to the lineup. Still, he has a scoring pedigree and may need to be in the right situation to recapture that scoring success, so why not in Detroit?