Going all-in on Leon Draisaitl would transform the Red Wings into Stanley Cup contenders

It didn’t take long for the Leon Draisaitl trade rumors to commence, and the Red Wings are one team that must take a hard look at the star forward.
Edmonton Oilers v Detroit Red Wings
Edmonton Oilers v Detroit Red Wings / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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With just a year to go on his contract and an eight-figure contract extension likely, Leon Draisaitl could be on the move, and the Red Wings may be an ideal landing spot. But don’t take it from me, as Joe Yerdon of Bleacher Report listed Detroit as one of five potential landing spots for Draisaitl, alongside the San Jose Sharks, Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins, and Carolina Hurricanes.

And yes, I get it; the Wings cap space is about to get a lot more complicated once Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond re-sign, and that may even be the case by the time you read this article. But the rising salary cap helps provide some relief, plus the fact the Red Wings can forgo re-signing players like Patrick Kane and David Perron, while trading Ville Husso and Justin Holl, which would give them more than enough space to add Draisaitl and negotiate a new deal. 

Then there’s the fact that adding Draisaitl will take a team that finished ninth in the NHL last season with 278 goals and parlay them to at least a top-five finish. This means more wins (and, more importantly, points) for the Red Wings, and it would also allow Draisaitl to team up with the likes of Lucas Raymond (72 points), Dylan Larkin (69 points in 68 games), and Alex DeBrincat (67 points). 

Red Wings would be Stanley Cup contenders if they acquired Leon Draisaitl 

Solving their problems at goaltender would still be an issue for Detroit, but they would already have one capable player in Alex Lyon. That said, it would be a lot easier to lure a goaltender to the Motor City should general manager Steve Yzerman acquire Leon Draisaitl since the likelihood of winning it all would skyrocket.

Regardless, someone like Draisaitl coming to Detroit would only mean more output from Raymond, Larkin, and DeBrincat, two of whom resided in the 30-goal club. Add Draisaitl, 41 goals and 106 points in 2023-24, to the mix, and you got a Core Four that would rival the Toronto Maple Leafs and one more than capable of beating heavy hitters like the Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers, and Tampa Bay Lightning. 

Plus, following the Linus Ullmark trade that saw him go from Boston to Ottawa, making a blockbuster trade for Leon Draisaitl would be the perfect response. I don’t endorse making rash responses to trades division rivals make, but the Red Wings were on the cusp of a playoff berth last season, and missing out on the postseason in such a fashion isn’t acceptable for the Red Wings fanbase. 

Last season, Yzerman made multiple moves to put the Wings in a playoff position, even if he neglected doing anything at the trade deadline. This summer, it’s time to finish the job, and by trading for Leon Draisaitl, he’s not just putting this team back into the playoffs; the Red Wings would enter the conversation to win a Stanley Cup. 

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