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Trade Coverage

NHL Trade Buzz: Red Wings may make more deals

Defenseman Brendan Smith traded to Rangers, forward Thomas Vanek could be next to go

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / Columnist

Welcome to the NHL Trade Buzz. There is one day remaining until the 2017 NHL Trade Deadline (March 1, 3 p.m. ET). The time has come for the Detroit Red Wings to make decisions, the Tampa Bay Lightning might not be done, and a couple of Colorado Avalanche stars wait anxiously.

Here's a look around the League at the latest deadline doings:


Detroit Red Wings

The Red Wings traded Brendan Smith to the New York Rangers for a second-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft and a third-rounder this year.

After the St. Louis Blues traded Kevin Shattenkirk to the Washington Capitals on Monday, teams interested in Shattenkirk could look at Smith as a Plan B for a puck-moving defenseman whose contract expires after this season.

Smith said Monday he had always been happy with the Red Wings, who selected him in the first round (No. 27) of the 2007 NHL Draft, and would rather re-sign with them than test free agency July 1 because of the uncertainty. He said his agent had been talking to Red Wings general manager Ken Holland but there hadn't been "anything definitive." Holland said Tuesday the sides were close on parameters but the draft picks outweighed bringing back Smith.

"He had a great career here with us, and we wish him the best," Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "He is going to be a good fit in New York."

Video: VAN@DET: Smith's one-timer slides in past Miller

Holland is likely to trade forward Thomas Vanek, a pending UFA who can provide offense. The Red Wings are interested in re-signing Vanek, and Vanek likes Detroit. But the Red Wings don't want to protect Vanek in the NHL Expansion Draft at the expense of someone else, and neither side wants to risk signing a contract and Vanek ending up with the Vegas Golden Knights. Vanek said Monday he might as well explore his options on July 1.

Meanwhile, Holland will explore trades for UFA forwards Drew Miller and Steve Ott while listening to offers on others.

"We've got some players here that are of interest to other teams," Holland said.

This is an unfamiliar position for the Red Wings, who have made the Stanley Cup Playoffs for 25 consecutive seasons but are last in the Eastern Conference.

"We understand," Zetterberg said. "It is disappointing. I think everyone is disappointed about that. But we still have 22 games here to play, and we got to improve every day. We still have a lot of talent in this room, and we just have to play hard and see where the chips fall."


Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning GM Steve Yzerman traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings and center Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Each was a pending UFA.

But Yzerman isn't just gathering assets for players who could hit free agency July 1 because of the Lightning's slim chances of making the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He's dealing with a looming cap crunch.

Forwards Jonathan Drouin, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat and defenseman Andrej Sustr are pending restricted free agents who will want raises. Defenseman Victor Hedman and goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy have new contracts that take effect next season and raise their cap charges significantly.

Video: TBL@ANA: Filppula pots rebound to open the scoring

Would Yzerman trade someone like Johnson or Valtteri Filppula? Filppula, 32, has one year left on his contract at a charge of $5 million and a limited no-trade clause, allowing him to submit a list of 16 teams to which he can be traded, according to


Colorado Avalanche

Forward Matt Duchene and captain Gabriel Landeskog are anxiously waiting for the deadline with the Avalanche in last place in the NHL standings and general manager Joe Sakic reportedly listening to offers.

Duchene told the Denver Post he wanted to stay with the Avalanche but added: "I mean, I want to win. Whatever it takes for that to happen, that's what I want."

The question is whether this is the time to trade players like Duchene and Landeskog. Duchene, 26, the No. 3 pick in the 2009 draft, has two years left on his contract with a cap charge of $6 million, according to Landeskog, 24, the No. 2 choice in the 2011 draft, has four years left at a charge of $5.571 million. Suitors have more roster and cap flexibility in the offseason.

Video: TBL@COL: Duchene ties the game late with pinball goal

Sakic also has UFAs, most notably forward Jarome Iginla, who has a no-movement clause in his contract but would like a chance to win the Stanley Cup for the first time. But how much could he help a contender? The 39-year-old has 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) in 60 games.


Washington Capitals

Capitals GM Brian MacLellan might be done now that he has acquired Shattenkirk. The Blues retained exactly 39 percent of Shattenkirk's salary in the trade for a reason.

"They pushed us to the limit on the salary withholding," MacLellan said Tuesday. "They examined how much space we had, and that's how we got to the 39 percent number."

The Capitals might have a little room with forward Andre Burakovsky on long-term injured reserve, but to do something else, they probably would have to move money out.

Video: Elliotte Friedman on the Kevin Shattenkirk trade

"I don't expect us to be that active," MacLellan said. "We're going to meet here this morning and see. I think we're going to have minimal cap space. Maybe we'll pursue a call-up guy. We'll go through any options we might have in that area."


Ottawa Senators

The Senators continued to add depth up front by acquiring Viktor Stalberg from the Carolina Hurricanes in a trade on Tuesday after getting Alexandre Burrows from the Vancouver Canucks on Monday.

They gave up a third-round pick in the 2017 draft for Stalberg, a pending unrestricted free agent.

Stalberg, 31, has 6-foot-3 size and 12 points (nine goals, three assists) in 57 games this season. He had three assists in 19 playoff games with the Chicago Blackhawks when they won the Stanley Cup in 2013 and has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in 43 playoff games during his NHL career.

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