On Monday, the Red Wings announced that defenseman Nick Leddy (50% retained) was traded to the St.Louis Blues alongside Luke Witkowski in exchange for Oskar Sundqvist, Jake Walman, and a 2023 second-round pick.
Leddy was acquired from the New York Islanders back in July ahead of the Seattle expansion draft in exchange for Richard Panik (50% retained salary) and a 2021 second-round pick, which turned out to be Finnish center Aatu Raty.
For Detroit, bringing in Oskar Sundqvist and Jake Walman is a way for the Blues to fit Leddy under the salary cap. Sundqvist makes $2.75 million AAV through 2023 and has been a mainstay in the Blues’ bottom-six this season, scoring four goals and 15 points through 41 games this season. Walman has been a depth option on the Blues, playing in only 33 games so far this season. Walman is only 26 years old, and with the loss of Stecher and now Leddy, he gives the team another option.
Trade speculation around Leddy started to heat up online after Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff tweeted that Nick Leddy would sit out the Red Wings’ games versus Vancouver and Seattle.
Leddy, for the most part, this season, struggled as he was adjusting to a looser defensive system than Barry Trotz’s system on Long Island. For whatever reason, Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill seemed hesitant to play Nick Leddy with Moritz Seider for a large portion of the season. The pairing at the beginning of the season was strong in transition and was successful in matching up against the top lines of opposing teams.
Whether that be due to the lack of depth or the thought that Seider could carry his own line, it ended up affecting Leddy the most. Leddy seemed to struggle under pressure, often turning over the puck while trying to make a break-out pass. In recent weeks, Leddy was reunited with Seider and looked the best he has looked all season, highlighted by a three-assist night versus Minnesota.
If Leddy can find the right partner, possibly Colton Parayko, then he could be a positive addition to the Blues’ backend. Leddy has plenty of experience as he’s played 831 career games and an additional 121 playoff games, including a Stanley Cup in Chicago back in 2013.