DETROIT – At the end of NHL trade deadline, either the price was too high or the Wings didn’t have the young players teams were looking for in return.
Therefore, the only deal the team made before 3 p.m. Monday was shipping defenseman Mike Commodore to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a conditional seventh-round pick.
“At the end of the day there just wasn’t a fit,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “We tried to make a couple of moves. There weren’t a lot of rentals. It has a lot to do with how many teams are in the hunt for a playoff spot.”
And it wasn’t a salary cap issue this season like it has been in the past for the Wings at the deadline, having just under $4.8 million to spend.
“We weren’t close at all (to making a deal),” Holland said. “Talked to a lot of teams, we made some offers, but … There wasn’t a fit, so we weren’t close on anything.
“There was three or four players we would have liked to have added but ultimately, we either didn’t offer enough or they didn’t like what we were offering. There weren’t a lot of trades.”
There were 15 trades total on Monday.
“I thought we did a real good thing, trading a first-round pick and got (Kyle) Quincey,” said Wings coach Mike Bacock, who Detroit acquired last week. “We really felt we needed depth at that position. We acquired the depth we needed.
“You can always hope for a whole bunch of players,” Babcock added. “The price of the other pieces was what we weren’t willing to pay or people weren’t willing to trade them to us.”
Commodore, who signed a one-year deal for $1 million this offseason, got caught in the numbers game and he just fell deeper on the blue line depth chart after the trade for Quincey.
“To think that Mike Commodore can play 20 games in the NHL, this year he’s played 17, and then go into the Stanley Cup playoffs, is pretty hard,” Holland said.
After the deal Detroit recalled Brendan Smith from Grand Rapids.
“You can’t play 20 games and be ahead of guys on the farm team,” Holland said. “Mike wanted to play. It’s an opportunity for Mike and it’s an opportunity for us, too.
“I didn’t feel right bringing up Brendan Smith and having Mike Commodore being passed over by Brendan Smith,” Holland added.
Smith will be in the lineup Tuesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“Smith was on the all-rookie team last year in the AHL, he’s got 10 goals, tremendous college career,” Holland said. “We’re very high on Smith, he’s young but when the playoffs start, we expect to have Jonathan Ericsson healthy, we think our seventh and eighth defensemen are going to be Jakub Kindl and Brendan Smith, also got two vets down there in Doug Janik and Garnet Exelby. When you start getting into your 10th and 11th and 12th defensemen, we’re as deep as anybody. Part of the puzzle of going for a long playoff run is health.”
Commodore, 32, was injured in the preseason so fell behind early. He played only 17 games and has no goals, one assist and 12 penalty minutes.
“It would have been nice to see this thing through here,” Commodore said. “They’ve got as good a chance to win as anybody else, but this is probably better for me. I get an opportunity. I never really got an opportunity here, was in and out.”
He was a healthy scratch for 30 games.
“I have no idea why,” Commodore said. “You’d have to ask (Babcock). The D core is really good here. I don’t even want to speculate.
“I’m fine,” Commodore added. “It just didn’t work out. It’s not the first team where it didn’t work out. It’s time to move on.”
Holland said Commodore’s name was brought up with Lightning GM Steve Yzerman when the two made the deal for Quincey.