Babcock’s message to Cole and Zidlicky simple: “Picture the player you are and just do that.”

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock met with both newly acquired Erik Cole and Marek Zidlicky and had the same message for both of them, “Picture the player you are and just do that. That’s why we acquired you. Here’s our structure and now you have to find a way to do the two together.”

Cole and Zidlicky took part in their first practice with their new team since being traded for prior to the NHL trade deadline.

“I don’t want them thinking when they get on the ice I want them playing,” Babcock said. “It’ll show over time. We didn’t bring them here to change them. We got them here so they could do what they do and we’ll figure out a way to make it work for them.”

Cole practiced on a line with Henrik Zetterberg, who’s excepted to action Wednesday after missing four straight games due to a head injury, and Justin Abdelkader.

Zidlicky, who’s a right-handed shot and a power-play specialist, was paired on the blue line with Brendan Smith.

“He plays with pace and can take the puck to the net,” Babcock said of Cole. “He’s having a good year. Looks to me he has some size and has the ability to be heavy on it.”

“He’s a competitor,” added Babcock on Zidlicky. “He can shoot the puck and can make plays. He’s got good offensive skill. I think he’ll be a great addition. He made some plays in practice that makes you smile which is positive.”

The two will also be inserted on power play units. Cole will be out with his two linemates, along with Stephen Weiss and Niklas Kronwall, while Zidlicky will man the point for Pavel Datsyuk, Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar and Riley Sheahan.

“It was great to see that we as an organization were able to help our team,” Babcock said. “I think our team has done a good job and if you do a good job Kenny (Holland) has shown over the years he tries to help you.

“From an organizational standpoint, long term, we were able to do that without giving up a whole bunch so therefore we serve ourselves for now and in the future with the group we have coming,” Babcock continued. “We’re excited we have both guys. I think both can be prominent players for us. It’s going to take them some time to adjust but I think they’ll be a factor.”

Helm, Marchenko out a week to 10 days

DETROIT >> Both are expected to miss a week to 10 days according to Wings general manager Ken Holland.

“It’s nothing serious, but they’ll both be out for a short period of time,” Holland said.

Helm was injured in the first period on Saturday.

Holland said his MRI Monday came back negative.

Marchenko finished the game after tallying his first NHL goal.

With the acquisition of veteran defenseman Marek Zidlicky from the New Jersey Devils, the Wings are likely to assign Marchenko to the Grand Rapids Griffins once he is healthy.

Holland: “I’m confident we’re a better team”

DETROIT >> General manager Ken Holland made two moves prior to the NHL trade deadline Monday with one thing in mind … to make the Wings a better team.

And he didn’t have to part with much to make them.

The Wings dealt for defenseman Marek Zidlicky, a right-hand shooting power-play specialist, after obtaining Erik Cole, a physical, offensive winger, on Sunday.
“I’m confident we’re a better team,” Holland said. “I’m confident we can go on a playoff run. We’re doing the deals thinking we’re a deeper better team than we were 48 hours ago and now over the (rest of the regular season) we’re hoping they can fit in and Mike Babcock can find exactly where they fit in.”

The Wings have not made it out of the second round of the playoffs the last five years.

“We’re right in the thick of things in the Eastern Conference and if we can add a piece or two leading up to the deadline to make us a little deeper, a little better prepared for a playoff series and a price we could live with we wanted to do it,” Holland added. “I think our team has played pretty well. These guys have to come in and win a job.”

Both players are expected to make their debut with the Wings Wednesday against the New York Rangers.

In all Detroit parted with a conditional pick or two for Zidlicky, 38, and a second-round pick and two mid-level prospects to get Cole, 36. Both are unrestricted free agents after this season.

“When I look back at some of the deals we’ve made here over the years you never really know which deals will be the perfect fit or which deals don’t quite work out the way you want,” Holland said. “The price that we paid it was an opportunity to make our team a little bit better and ready for the playoffs.”

Holland expects Cole to play on a line with Henrik Zetterberg, who’s expected to return Wednesday after missing four games with a head injury, while Zidlicky will give a boost to a power-play unit that’s already the best in the league, converting 25-percent of the time.

“I think that’s huge,” Niklas Kronwall said when asked about them not having to give up much in return. “I think we’ve got a really good thing going. We’ve got really good chemistry in the room. So I think that was very important.

“I think we still have a long way to go (before the playoffs),” Kronwall continued. “I haven’t really started talking or thinking about that yet. We just have to focus on these next few games ahead.”

Both Zidlicky and Cole, who had 18 goals and 15 assists in 57 games with Dallas this season, have a decent amount of playoff experience as well.

Cole has six goals and eight assists in 46 playoff games, while Zidlicky, who had four goals and 19 assists in 63 games this season with New Jersey, has appeared in 38 playoff games with a goal and 15 assists.

“I think it’s a good thing,” Jimmy Howard said. “The pieces that Kenny added are a positive for our club. Got that right-handed, offensive defenseman they were seeking and we also added some depth up front with Erik, bringing in a tenacious guy that goes to the net hard and likes to play rough.”

The Wings did inquire about Toronto defenseman Dion Phaneuf, but could not get the Maple Leafs to take pick up nearly $2 million annually in his salary. Phaneuf has six years remaining on a $49 million contract that he signed in the middle of last season.

For Cole, Detroit parted ways with a pair of prospects – Mattias Janmark (center) and Mattias Backman (defenseman), who are both playing in Sweden – and a 2015 second-round pick. The Wings will receive the Stars’ third-round pick next season unless they reach the conference finals.

The Devils will receive Detroit’s third-round pick in 2016 for Zidlicky. If the Wings reach the Eastern Conference finals this year they’ll also send a 2015 fifth-round pick to New Jersey and the 2016 third rounder moves up to the second round.

With adding Zidlicky and Cole, Wings done making deals according to GM Ken Holland

DETROIT >> The Detroit Red Wings’ wish list when free agency opened this past offseason was a right-handed shooting defenseman to man the point on the power play.

On Monday, just hours before the NHL trade deadline, the Wings obtained one.

Detroit made a trade with the New Jersey Devils for defenseman Marek Zidlicky.

On Sunday, the Wings made a deal for Erik Cole. In return, the Dallas Stars got a pair of prospects – Mattias Janmark (center) and Mattias Backman (defenseman), who are both playing in Sweden – and a second-round pick.

Wings general manager Ken Holland said the team will not make another move prior to the deadline at 3 p.m.

To get Zidlicky, who’s a power-play specialist and will immediately upgrade the top-ranked power play unit in the league, Detroit gave up a conditional third round draft pick in 2016.

If the Wings make the Eastern Conference finals this season New Jersey will also get a fifth-round pick in 2015.

If they make it to the Stanley Cup finals, the third-round pick becomes a second rounder and Detroit will get a fifth-round pick in return in 2016.

Zidlicky, 38, is in the final year of his contract and will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

The Wings have made a pitch to sign Zidlicky, who has four goals, 19 assists and a minus-seven rating in 63 games this season, each of the last two seasons, but he chose each time to re-sign with New Jersey.

Zidlicky had to waive his no-trade clause to come to Detroit.

He’s played 11 seasons in the NHL and has totaled 82 goals and 308 assists. He’s also appeared in 38 playoff games with a goal and 15 assists.

The Wings did inquire about Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf, but earlier this afternoon a source said that they’re not in on a deal to bring him to Detroit.

The main sticking point is his salary.

Phaneuf, who would be that impact defenseman the Wings would make a move to obtain, has six years remaining on a $49 million contract that he signed in the middle of last season.

Detroit wanted Toronto to pick up about $2 million annually on his deal to bring his salary-cap hit in at $5 million a season.

Phaneuf, 29, has three goals, 20 assists and has a minus-eight rating in 51 games this season with Toronto.

He’s a left-handed shot and would provide another physical element along the blue line.

Cole, 36, has a decent amount of playoff experience, scoring six goals and collecting eight assists in 46 games.

Cole, who has a 4.5 million cap hit, is a physical offensive forward and is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

He had 18 goals and 15 assists in 57 games for Dallas this season.

For his career he has 262 goals and 264 assists in 881 games.

Wings add Zidlicky

DETROIT >> The Wings have made a deal for defenseman Marek Zidlicky. 

Looks like a conditional third round draft pick in 2016. 

Pick could be second round if Wings make Stanley Cup finals.

He’s a power-play specialist and more importantly a right-handed shot. 

Zidlicky is in the final year of his contract and will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

More to come.

Wings aren’t working on a deal to obtain Phaneuf, but that could change as deadline approaches

DETROIT >> As Ken Holland said Sunday, “If there’s a player that can upgrade us, whether it’s up front or on defense we’ll do something.”

That someone could be Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf.

A source said that they’re not in on a deal to bring Phaneuf to Detroit.

But that could all change as the 3 p.m. trade deadline approaches when teams may decide at the last minute to meet demands on deals.

The main sticking point is his salary.

Phaneuf, who would be that impact defenseman the Wings would make a move to obtain, has six years remaining on a $49 million contract that he signed in the middle of last season.

If the Wings can’t get Toronto to eat $2 million annual on his deal, they could possibly part with a pair of Toronto natives – Brendan Smith and Stephen Weiss – and a first round pick.

Weiss however has a no-movement clause in his deal. He’s got three more years left on a deal with an average salary cap hit of $4.9 million.

Smith, who makes close $1.3 million this season, will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

Phaneuf, 29, has three goals, 20 assists and has a minus-eight rating in 51 games this season with Toronto.

He’s a left-handed shot and would provide another physical element along the blue line.

Another option, who could cost less, is New Jersey’s Marek Zidlicky. He’s a power-play specialist and more importantly a right-handed shot.

Zidlicky is in the final year of his contract and will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

Wings obtain Erik Cole, a player that provides an ‘element and dimension’

DETROIT >> Wings general manager Ken Holland said if they were going to add a player at the trade deadline he would have to provide an important element and dimension to the roster.

They feel Erik Cole can do both.

Detroit obtained Cole from the Dallas Stars for a pair of prospects – Mattias Janmark (center) and Mattias Backman (defenseman), who are both playing in Sweden – and a second-round pick.

Cole told a Toronto radio station he found out about the deal prior to the Stars’ game against the Anaheim Ducks and was scratched from the lineup.

“It’s a chance to go to a team that’s in the playoffs and has a chance to go on a good run here in the spring and hopefully win a Cup,” he told TSN 1050. “It gets easier the more you go through it. Early on in my career it kind of bothered me a bit more. This year it’s been pretty easy to continue to go about my business. We’ve been in such a dogfight here in Dallas it’s been tough to focus on anything else other than what we’ve had right in front of us.
“It’s the nature of the business and the sport, all sports,” Cole added. “I’ll spend the next couple of days here turning the page and focus on what my role is going to be in Detroit.”

The Wings also got a third round pick back.

“It’s definitely one of those teams that has the aura about it,” said Cole, who was a member of the Carolina Hurricanes in 2002 when they lost to the Wings in the Stanley Cup final. “It’s such a great history and so many great players have played there obviously.”

Cole, 36, has a decent amount of playoff experience, scoring six goals and collecting eight assists in 46 games.

“You hear so many great things about how the organization and the coaching staff handle their players and all the accolades,” Cole said. “They’ve had so much success and they have a great playing staff. It should be a great experience.”

Cole, who’s 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, is a physical offensive forward and is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. He has a $4.5 million salary cap-hit.

He has 18 goals and 15 assists in 57 games for Dallas this season. For his career he has 262 goals and 264 assists in 881 games.

“I would love to make a deal to make us a little bit better, to upgrade us a little bit, but I also feel with the way, not only with the way our players are playing here in Detroit, but the development of our young players in Grand Rapids I feel good about the depth,” Holland said in a phone interview earlier Sunday. “I understand they’re young players and when we get into the Stanley Cup playoffs that you’re not sure how they’re going to react, but as you look at other teams out there, the league is younger. Because of the cap there are lots of good young players. We might have a lot of young players on our team, but do the other teams.”

Besieged by injuries, mainly at center, last season, the Wings made a last minute deal for David Legwand. They gave up Patrick Eaves, Calle Jarnkrok and what turned into a second-round draft pick after they reached the playoffs for a 23rd straight season.