3 blueliners the Red Wings must avoid trading for in the 2024 offseason

The Detroit Red Wings need to acquire defensemen and goaltenders in 2024, but there are three potential trade candidates they should refrain from targeting.
Dec 22, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA;  Detroit Red Wings right wing Alex DeBrincat (93) Philadelphia
Dec 22, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Red Wings right wing Alex DeBrincat (93) Philadelphia / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
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The Detroit Red Wings could be in the trade market for a goaltender like Filip Gustavsson, but they should also strongly consider trading for a blueliner. Yet, considering how much the Wings struggled when they didn’t have the puck this past season, they need to be selective regarding which defenseman they would ultimately try to trade for.

There are three blueliners in particular that general manager Steve Yzerman should be cautious about who have recently entered the rumor mill. Two of them are players he should know rather well since they’re already playing in the Atlantic, and one is a former member of the division. 

Could the following players factor in as solid additions in the Motor City if Yzerman settled for acquiring them? You can argue that they would, but overall, there are better options than this trio who, so far, haven’t lived up to expectations recently with their current organizations. 

Timothy Liljegren, D/Maple Leafs

Timothy Liljegren is one of those classic cases of a former first-round pick who has yet to break out and even become more than a halfway decent player. He can be a physical presence, but you would expect more than just 17:56 of average time on ice throughout his first three full seasons, and that he would be more of an impact player in the defensive zone for a team that desperately needs one. 

This isn’t saying Liljegren wouldn’t make a difference in Detroit, as the Red Wings could use rather physical players who are unafraid to get in front of and block shots. And he’s averaged nearly 100 per season between 2021-22 and 2023-24, but his issues involve consistency and availability.

The pending RFA has played in 183 games in the same time period, averaging just 61 per season. He’s not giving the Wings much of an upgrade if he’s missing an average of 21 games a year, so he would be a hard pass if the Toronto Maple Leafs tried to shop him, even to others within the division.  

If there is any way to justify trading for Liljegren, it would involve throwing nothing more than a late-round pick Toronto’s way and acquiring him. But if the Leafs want more, there are better options.