DETROIT – As the NHL trade deadline approaches there’s one thing Wings general manager Ken Holland won’t be dealing for this season … depth players.
“I don’t think we need any more depth up front,” Holland said. “We’d like to get healthy up front. If we can do a legitimate trade to acquire a player that we think is a legitimate top nine or top six forward or a legitimate top four defenseman then we’re going to look. I don’t need any depth. There’s no use for me trading a fourth-round pick to bring in here someone to sit. We have lots of depth up front and we have lots of depth on defense so we don’t need depth.
“Is there a player that someone wants to trade that wants to be a top six or top nine forward, not really when everyone is trying to win,” Holland continued. “Today a couple of teams signed players that were going to be unrestricted free agents. I think between now and Wednesday lots of teams are going to sign some of their players. I’m working the phones and if there’s a legitimate top six or top nine forward or a legitimate top four D, behind that I don’t think we have (much interest).”
The trade deadline is 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Holland will miss the Wings’ charter flight to Phoenix just in case a deal for what he’s looking for happens.
“I think we wake up Wednesday and because of history we’ll have 20-30 trades, but lots of deals will be made for depth,” Holland said. “I’ve had some conversations with some teams about the odd depth player and I really don’t have an interest. Again, because of the development of (Jakub) Kindl, (Brian) Lashoff, Brendan Smith, because of the signing of Dan DeKeyser on defense, we’ve got nine guys here and had to trade away Kent Huskins to make room.
“Because of the development of Joakim Andersson, who we really like,” Holland continued. “(Tomas) Tatar and (Gustav) Nyquist have gotten an opportunity. Because Patrick Eaves is healthy. Because we signed Damien Brunner, who can play in the NHL. You look and we don’t need any depth.”