Red Wings plan to explore options as NHL trade deadline approaches

The Red Wings are in the market for a goal-scoring winger and/or an abrasive third- or fourth-line forward.

Money is not an issue. The Red Wings are $5.7 million under the salary cap. That gives them plenty of space to acquire anybody, since teams are responsible only for the remaining portion of a player’s contract.

It boils down to what the Red Wings are prepared to relinquish. It is doubtful they would move a core player, and it also is unlikely they would give up a top prospect for a rental (impending free agent). Detroit likely will be dangling draft picks, middling prospects and/or fringe players.

“We like the way the team has performed. A lot of people have had good first halves,” Holland said. “But the trade deadline is coming. We have a lot of cap space. We’ve done a lot of drafting and developing since 2005, saving our picks. I don’t know if we have to do anything, but certainly in the next six weeks we’re going to explore.

“Some teams are going to see in the next 4-5 weeks if they’re playing their way into being a buyer, a seller or sort of status quo. Last year, (deals) started to happen a month out, early February, so we’ll see.”

The Red Wings are more likely to add a complementary piece than a star player.

“Barring some (big) name becoming available … we’re all looking for depth,” Holland said.

“There’s the odd trade at the deadline that changes the balance of power, but at the end of the day, when I look at the Vancouver Canucks last year, they made some real nice trades at the deadline that gave them some depth, brought them some grit and were important players. Boston made two or three trades as well. They weren’t the big names, they were guys that were the perfect fit.”

The Red Wings are believed to have interest in, among others, forwards Tuomo Ruutu of Carolina and Ales Hemsky of Edmonton. Ruutu is a physical, agitating player with some scoring ability. Hemsky is a highly skilled offensive player who is having a miserable season (four goals, 16 points in 31 games) and needs a change of scenery.

http://www.mlive.com/redwings/index.ssf/2012/01/red_wings_plan_to_explore_opti.html