Detroit — No surprises, no shock, the Red Wings did what was expected in the final hours Monday as the NHL trade deadline closed.
They dealt defensemen Nick Leddy and Luke Witkowski to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for forward Oskar Sundqvist, defenseman Jake Walman and a 2023 second-round pick, and sent forward Vladislav Namestnikov to the Dallas Stars for a 2024 fourth-round pick.
The Wings also retained 50% of Leddy’s $5.5 million salary cap reached this season and also retained 50% of Namestnikov’s $2 million salary cap. Both were potential unrestricted free agents who intrigued rentals for playoff contenders.
“The players, the free agents that we had, that sparked the interest were the ones we expected,” general manager Steve Yzerman said. “We weren’t really caught off guard by anything. It went as planned.
“That’s kind of what we expected to do as the trade deadline approaches. You have a good idea of the interest in your free agents and what the return will be.”
Leddy, a potential unrestricted free agent, has been a healthy draw the past two games in anticipation of some sort of move ahead.
Leddy, 31, was acquired from the New York Islanders in the offseason for a second-round draft pick. Leddy has played 55 games with one goal and 15 assists, at odds of minus-33, with an expiring contract.
While providing a consistent veteran presence on defense, Leddy didn’t provide the offensive spark the Wings expected, despite being a huge addition to the locker room.
“He helped us a lot,” Yzerman said. “He helped our defence, helped Filip (Hronek), Moritz (Seider) and Gus Lindstrom on the left side, he played with all those guys a bit.”
Yzerman discussed a possible contract extension but “couldn’t agree to anything”.
Sundqvist, 27, is a 6-foot-3, 208-pound center/winger who has had a checkered career with the Blues. Sundqvist played 41 games with four goals and 11 assists.
Sundqvist played 74 games for the Blues in the 2019 Stanley Cup-winning season, but missed most of last season with a torn ACL and underwent double hip surgery in the summer. last.
Sundqvist still has one year left on his $2.75 million contract.
“You get a right-handed striker, an opportunity to bring in another big body that plays on the right side and is a good penalty killer,” Yzerman said. “We’ve received rave reviews for his character and his popularity in the dressing room.”
Walman, 26, was a former third-round pick in 2014 who played in 32 games with three goals and three assists this season. He played 57 games in his NHL career. Walman is making $725,000 this season and is a restricted free agent this summer.
Offensive defender, good skater with a good shot, Walman was unable to gain time behind the Blues’ defensive corps.
Namestnikov, 29, has 13 goals and 12 assists in 60 games for the Wings this season. Like Leddy, Namestnikov is a potential unrestricted free agent, completing a two-year contract worth $4 million ($2 million salary cap reached by) signed ahead of the 2020-21 season.
“Vlade has been here for the better part of two seasons and he’s played really well for us,” Yzerman said. “We liked having him here; he’s a good guy.”
Despite rumors of interest in strikers like Tyler Bertuzzi and Filip Zadina, and defender FIlip Hronek, Yzerman said there were no stealth negotiations to do something big.
And the rumors that Yzerrman was trying to do something unexpected were apparently untrue.
“I don’t say much and a lot of people misinterpret that I’m doing something and I really don’t,” Yzerman said. “I prefer to keep things a secret to myself. I don’t try to do the unexpected, or outwit smart people or trick people or anything like that. I just don’t believe a lot of things should be shared.”
Yzerman was also vague and didn’t share much on the coach’s future Jeff Blashill.
The Wings have fallen in recent weeks and are currently 25-30-7, and Monday were 23 points behind the playoff spot.
“We’re here to talk about the trade deadline and the steps we’ve taken,” Yzerman said.
Still, Yzerman referred to the recent crisis.
“It’s been a year of ups and downs for us,” Yzerman said. “We’ve made a lot of progress. The last six weeks of the season have been disappointing for all of us. Jeff and I are going to sit down at some point and talk about our team and where we’re going with our team and what we need to do.”
The duration and terms of the extension signed by Blashill last season have not been officially announced.
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A potential UFA defender who was not traded was Marc Staeland Yzerman hinted the Wings might be interested in re-signing the veteran.
“It’s something to consider for sure,” Yzerman said. “We’re going to need a left side defense and Marc has been a great addition on and off the ice to our organization.”
… Yzerman is happy with the striker’s progress Jonathan Berggren in Grand Rapids, but a brief recall to the NHL isn’t certain.
“We are happy with his game,” Yzerman said. “He’s an important player for us there. He has a certain stability (in Grand Rapids), he knows who he is playing with and his role. ) and this is important. I want to make the playoffs.”
… Attackers Joe Veleno and Taro Hirose will be eligible to play for Grand Rapids in the AHL playoffs if the Griffins qualify.
Flyers at Red Wings
►Faceoff : 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Little Caesars Arena, Detroit
►TV/Radio: BSD/97.1 FM
►Outlook: The Flyers (20-31-11) traded cornerstone C Claude Giroux close to the deadline… The Flyers are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games and are looking to revamp the roster. …RW Cam Atkinson (23 goals, 47 points) and G Carter Hart (2.94 GAA, .911 SVS) have been key this season.