Helene St. James: Detroit Red Wings should trade Kyle Quincey

A savvy, rangy defenseman is getting closer on the Detroit Red Wings’ horizon, which will afford an opportunity to change the landscape.

Danny DeKeyser is starting a comeback from a separated shoulder suffered Nov. 21, taking to the ice daily and increasing what he does. Realistically, he’s still about two weeks away, but when he is ready, he’ll need to be removed from long-term injured reserve. Right now, that can’t be done without something else happening.

Here’s what that something should be: trading defenseman Kyle Quincey.

Quincey has been mediocre since arriving via trade in February 2012. He’s currently minus-9, worst on the team, and has just three points, all assists, after 29 games. That’s not much of a return for a guy with a $3.775-million salary cap hit. If he could be flipped for a cheaper veteran defenseman or even a draft pick, the Wings would greatly improve their salary cap situation.

There are other ways to make room for DeKeyser. Henrik Zetterberg could be put on LTIR because of a small herniated disc. He’ll likely have missed six games before he even begins practicing; LTIR requires a minimum of 10 games and 24 days. So that’s one scenario.