Top 3 players the Red Wings missed out on at the NHL trade deadline

The Detroit Red Wings made one small move at the 2024 NHL trade deadline, and there were a few talented players left on the board they could have used.

Detroit Red Wings v Philadelphia Flyers
Detroit Red Wings v Philadelphia Flyers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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Of all the disappointing teams at the 2024 NHL trade deadline, the Detroit Red Wings may have disappointed more than any other. Steve Yzerman was one executive you just have to keep tabs on around the deadline, given the transactions he has made in the past. But when 3 PM came on March 8th, he made just one move that involved moving one of his more physical players to the San Jose Sharks.

For a team that could use some physicality, that was a bad trade at the worst, and questionable at best. While it’s true Yzerman didn’t need to pull off a blockbuster move at the deadline, he still needed to address team needs either by adding defensive-oriented players at forward, stay-at-home defensemen, or even another goaltender. 

Yzerman clearly turned his focus from adding pieces from other organizations to looking internally at his own franchise, and that’s never a bad thing. You want to promote and grow your organization internally, as they are players who are either building or have built chemistry alongside one another in the lower leagues. But as a playoff contender who is currently struggling, he still needed to add someone, and even a rather obscure piece would have worked. 

The Red Wings could have made small moves at the NHL trade deadline

Yzerman has given us plenty of high-profile acquisitions, and no, repeating that this season wasn’t necessary. But there are three forwards with defensive-minded approaches who would have immediately upgraded the Red Wings, especially since they are missing one of their top scorers in Dylan Larkin.

So, who could have helped turn around what has been a poor defensive team this season? The names you are about to see wouldn’t have added much value in the offensive zone, and only one would likely have been near a ‘blockbuster’ deal. But they all would have improved Detroit’s lower lines, and perhaps even for longer than just this season.