David Perron is a prime candidate to be re-signed by the Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings are more likely to re-sign David Perron rather than trade him ahead of the March 8th deadline.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

My how things can change during the course of an NHL season. If you rewind to mid-to-late December, it seemed the struggling Detroit Red Wings would become sellers ahead of the March 8th NHL trade deadline. Now, fast forward to the present day; it's more likely general manager Steve Yzerman is looking to add a depth piece or two.

David Perron, 35, appeared like a prime candidate to be moved to a contender looking to add an experienced third-line winger who could also contribute to the power-play. It seems like Detroit's vocal leader is more likely to remain with Detroit to see this season through. Remember, Perron spoke up during Detroit's tough December and mentioned that the organization would rebound and garner 18 points in January.

That was laughed off by head coach Derek Lalonde, knowing how poorly the Red Wings had played in December. Not only did the Red Wings produce 18 points, they finished the month with 20 points, propelling themselves back into the postseason conversation. The Red Wings have piggybacked on their tremendous January with a stellar February, firmly controlling the first Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference with 68 points (31-20-6).

Detroit Red Wings expected to extend David Perron?

A report from ESPN's Emily Kaplan suggests that the Detroit Red Wings will look to get a contract extension done with Perron before the March 8th trade deadline. However, if a deal isn't reached, expect negotiations to continue this summer ahead of free agency.

Per Kaplan - "I was surprised, then, a few weeks ago when I heard that David Perron, a pending UFA and an emotional leader in the locker room, was potentially on the move. I do think there were legitimate discussions about trading Perron, but they have since quieted. In fact, I believe a contract extension for Perron could be in play either right before or after the March 8 deadline. If it doesn't get done, don't be surprised if they re-engage over the summer on a potential new contract in Detroit."

Perron entered this season on the heels of a tremendous first year with the organization, where he tallied 24 goals and 56 points over 82 games. Perron's numbers have dipped this season, but some of that lack of production is because the Red Wings are a far better team than they were a year ago, which limits the veteran forward's role. Rather than playing as a top-six forward, Perron is usually found skating on the Red Wings' third line, but he still draws power play time in the shooter's hole at the left circle.

This season, Perron has totaled 12 goals and 28 points over 52 games, averaging just a hair over 15 minutes per night. Despite skating as a minus-12, Perron's shooting percentage is up 1% from last season at 13.3. His Corsi For Percentage comes in at a mediocre 44.5 during even-strength situations, and his Relative Corsi For Percentage sits at -2.2 at even strength, the second-worst rating of his lengthy career. Also, Perron's 2.2 points per 60/minutes is the lowest since the 2016-17 season with the Blues, and his 0.9 goals/60 is the lowest since 2017-18 when he was with the Vegas Golden Knights.

Recently, I mentioned three unrestricted free-agent forwards that the Detroit Red Wings need to re-sign, and noticeably (by many), I left off Perron. I was criticized for adding Christian Fischer over Perron, but it's not because Fischer is a better player than Perron, but it's likely much more affordable. The Red Wings have a ton of skilled forwards this year, and Fischer brings not only a physical presence to Detroit's lineup but also a valuable penalty killer. Now, if the Red Wings can re-up with Perron for a one-year deal worth $3-3.5 million or so, it wouldn't be the worst idea. He has a Stanley Cup championship under his belt, and that winning pedigree can be priceless for a young, up-and-coming team. As previously mentioned, Perron is also the vocal leader of this team, whereas Dylan Larkin is considered more of a quiet leader.