The Red Wings’ salary cap hell is so encompassing that it nearly prevented Gustav Nyquist from getting called up, and unless something happens, will prevent Danny DeKeyser from returning from injury.
The salary cap is $64.3 million this year, but since DeKeyser went on the long term injured reserve and since the Red Wings were nearing the cap anyway they could go over the cap limit by about DeKeyser’s salary. When DeKeyser comes back in a couple of weeks that exception will be gone and the Red Wings will likely have to make a move to bring him back.
Helene St. James of the Free Press offers a sort of drastic solution: trade Kyle Quincey.
FAKE TRADE ALERT! FAKE TRADE ALERT! FAKE TRADE ALERT! QUINCEY IS OFFICIALLY ON THE (FAKE) BLOCK!
What we have here is a classic Florida/Miami Marlins salary dump. The Red Wings probably won’t be getting anything of extreme value in moving Quincey but they would go from hell to purgatory when his $3.775 million cap hit came off the books and may even allow them to be a minor player during the trade deadline.
Plus, Quincey is an NHL-level defenseman in a league where there’s not enough and, to be fair, his play has improved recently. He has a -1.54 GRM this segment, on track for his best of the season.
There’s are buyers out there. The question is: who are they?
Well it’s probably not anyone contending within the division. The Red Wings wouldn’t make that trade. Since Quincey is in the last year of his contract, it’s probably not anybody that will be out of the playoff race. It’s probably not anyone with good defense already, let’s say in the top half of the NHL in goals against. And it’s must be somebody who’s able to take on a significant portion of Quincey’s contract without giving the Red Wings a big contract in return. We’re talking draft picks and/or prospects, not one overpaid player for another.
That leaves six teams: Carolina, Columbus, Dallas, Nashville, Phoenix and Vancouver.
Of those teams, only Nashville and Columbus could absorb Quincey’s contract without the Red Wings taking on anybody in their NHL roster in return. The Red Wings are looking at a middling prospect and a late-round draft pick in a deal like that. Some examples: