Red Wings make trade deadline deals with future in mind
Gustav Nyquist and Nick Jensen are gone. In their places are Madison Bowey, a second-round pick in each of the next two drafts and a conditional third-round pick in the 2020 NHL draft.
Jimmy Howard, who turns 35 next month and is in the last year of a deal paying him a cap hit of $5.3 million, remains, and the emphasis now is signing him to a contract extension. He wants to remain in Detroit and the team wants to keep him. But they have not yet reached an agreement.
That summarizes the Red Wings’ situation after Monday’s 3 p.m. NHL trading deadline had passed.
Detroit now has a total of five second-round picks in the 2019 and 2020 drafts and 10 draft picks in 2019. The Wings have made 21 selections over the past two drafts, including two first-rounders last summer in Filip Zadina and Joe Veleno.
“At the end of the day, to rebuild, going with youth has got to be done through the draft. It has to be done through multiple picks,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said during a press conference at Little Caesars Arena on Monday afternoon. “Would I like to have acquired more picks? Yeah, I’d love to have acquired more picks. But the market place speaks.”
He added there was no interest in Howard because there was virtually no market for goalies.
Nyquist, 29, was traded to the San Jose Sharks minutes after Sunday night turned into Monday morning for a second-round draft pick in the 2019 draft and a conditional third-round pick in 2020. That conditional third-round pick would become a second-round pick in the same draft should the Sharks advance to the 2019 Stanley Cup Final or should Nyquist re-sign with Sharks.
Nyquist, in the last year of a four-year contract paying him $4.75 million annually, is scheduled to become a free agent on July 1. He is reportedly seeking a five-year deal for more than $5 million per year – longer and more expensive than the Wings were willing to go.
Nyquist was Detroit’s second-leading scorer with 16 goals and 49 points in 62 games.
“As you work your way to the trade deadline, I felt it was more important to grab more future. That’s the direction we’re going,” Holland said. “To go out and re-sign and keep the team together, the team hasn’t been quite good enough.”
That was obviously also the organization’s thinking on Friday when it sent Jensen and a fifth-round pick in this year’s draft to the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals for Bowey, also a right-shot defenseman – and, at 23, five years younger than Jensen – and a second-round pick in the 2020 draft. Jensen was also an unrestricted free-agent-to-be, but he immediately agreed to a four-year, $10-million extension with Washington.
There also was interest in defenseman Niklas Kronwall and forward Luke Glendening.
Kronwall, 38, did not want to be moved in what may be his final NHL season, and the Red Wings respected that decision. Glendening, a third/fourth line center, is a great value with two years left on a contract that pays him $1.8 million annually. Detroit values Glendening as a big part of the team’s culture.