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.