The NHL trade deadline is just over one month away on April 8th, 2024. The Detroit Red Wings have 58 points, which is tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs for fourth place in the Atlantic Division. The offseason acquisition of Alex Debrincat has put the Red Wings in position to make it back to the Stanley Cup playoffs. DeBrincat was the Red Wings’ representative at the NHL All-Star Game in Toronto on Saturday, playing for Team Matthews. DeBrincat scored two goals and one assist in the semifinal game against Team Hughes as well as recording two assists and an empty-net goal to defeat Team McDavid, 7-4, in the final.
DeBrincat’s son Archie sat with him at the post All-Star games press conference wearing a number 93 jersey with ‘Daddy’ on the back. “Just to have him here is a lot of fun,” DeBrincat said. “Being around him and putting him through these experiences is definitely pretty cool. I just love having him around.” The DeBrincat family recently welcomed their second son. DeBrincat wrote “Family of 4! Welcome Maverick!” on social media.
Patrick Kane said that one of the main reasons for him joining the Red Wings after his hip-resurfacing surgery was the ability to play with his friend DeBrincat. The chemistry between the two was evident from their first game together. However, this chemistry did not lead to goal scoring to begin with. DeBrincat could be seen on the bench, showing his frustration at the lack of offensive output. In the last five games before the all-star break DeBrincat has scored one goal and added two assists. Kane has had the same offensive output in this time.
With that in mind, what are some moves that general manager Steve Yzerman could make to get the Red Wings back into the playoffs? Yzerman has made many moves to reshape the roster into what he hopes could compete for a Stanley Cup in his four years as GM of the Red Wings. One Red Wings’ name that has come up in trade rumors is Jonatan Berggren. The right-winger from Uppsala, Sweden, who has played only 76 games in his NHL career, scored two goals and added three assists in nine games during the 2023-24 season.
Additionally, Berggren has helped the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL in a playoff chase of their own. The Griffins are currently in second place in the AHL’s Central Division. The team has a six-game win streak coming out of the AHL All-Star break. At this break, Berggren had points in his last 15 games, scoring eight goals and adding 11 assists in that span. Berggren has 10 multiple-point games during the 2023-24 AHL season.
Yzerman was captain of the Red Wings that in addition to winning four Stanley Cups during his career, made the Stanley Cup Playoffs 25 years in a row. The current general manager of the Edmonton Oilers, Ken Holland, was the architect of the roster that did not have the same salary cap constraints that teams deal with in the modern NHL. Not every team in the NHL has a Connor McDavid on its roster. It could be argued that Holland being told by ownership to make it to the playoffs at all costs is the reason that they have not made the playoffs for seven years in a row.
The Red Wings will begin the second half of their 2023-24 season on February 10th against the Vancouver Canucks. At this time, there will be less than one month to the NHL trade deadline. Yzerman needs to determine how the team is performing as the deadline approaches and if he has any moves that could be made. Yzerman cannot afford to sell any assets just to make it into the playoffs and not truly contend for a Stanley Cup as the Red Wings team did in the past.