Jordan Owens and Riley Armstrong.
Owens played 77 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins. He put up 25 points. He’s still in the AHL. Armstrong played 17 games for the Griffins, putting up five points. He then played two games in the KHL, moved on to Germany, and came back to the AHL this season.
They are your down-the-stretch difference makers, your final pieces, your legends of their time…
And your last two trade deadline acquisitions by the Detroit Red Wings.
Then again, before that Brad Stuart and Todd Bertuzzi came to Detroit in deadline deals, but those were also small potatoes compared to the Owens and Armstrong deals the bigger trades in their respective years.*
I don’t care about Detroit’s $5 million under the cap, or its max cap hit around $16 million or its max deadline cap hit that’s even higher than that — mainly because it’s super complicated and I have no idea what any of it means. But I also I don’t care because none of it matters. The Red Wing are in first place in the entire league. What are the chances they shake up the roster to make that final push at a playoff spot or a division crown? About as much as Giselle Bundchen is going to make out with any of the Patriots receivers.
*(2008, Stuart’s year: Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis to Pittsburgh from Atlanta to exchange for three players and a first-round pick. 2009, Bertuzzi: Ryan Smyth to the Islanders from Edmonton for two players and a first-round pick OR Bill Guerin to San Jose from St. Louis for two scrubs and a first-round pick. You may have a case in the Bertuzzi year, but stop trying to be a Picky Peter and let me make my argument. Loser. Sorry, that was uncalled for.)
Is anybody coming to Detroit on February 27? Probably. Do I know who that is? No. Is the whole asking myself questions and then answering them getting annoying yet? Definitely. I’ll stop.
Let’s start with who we know isn’t coming at the trade deadline, despite the totally unsubstantiated rumors:
Ryan Suter, D, NSH: Nashville wants to keep him and sign him long term. Even if the Predators don’t, they’re not going to trade him at the deadline to their division.
Zach Parise, LW, NJ: Despite being bankrupt, the Devils have said they’re not going to trade their star at the trade deadline.
Alexander Semin, LW, WSH: If you haven’t noticed, the Crapitals are hanging on to a lead in what might be the worst division in hockey. They’re one point up on the Panthers, who wouldn’t be in the playoffs if it started today. It’s win the division or bust in the Southeast. The Crapitals need Semin, who is fourth on the team in points.
Ryan Smyth, LW, EDM: Remember the first time he was traded away from Edmonton and he cried on the podium? Yeah, he doesn’t want to do that again. He’s basically said no dice to any trade possibilities.
Ales Hemsky, RW, EDM: He’s big. He’s strong. He’s only 28. He’s got 22 points in 40 games. He’s been injured. He’s -15, second worst on the Oilers. Yet someone is going to give up a decent prospect and a first-round pick for him. It’s not going to be Detroit.
Have you managed your expectations? Good. Get ready to manage them some more, because the guy you’ve heard the most about, Tuomo Ruutu, C, CAR probably isn’t going to Detroit either. Word on the street (more specifically, the interwebs) is that’s he may be traded as early as this week and Detroit wasn’t one of the teams specifically mentioned. If he’s that close to being traded, chances are somebody knows who the major players are in a possible deal.
The Red Wings (probably) passed for the same reason they don’t want Hemsky: asking price. Would you want to give up a first-round pick and prospect for a guy who has less PPG than Hemsky?
So who is left on the market? A bunch of old guys and others you’ve never heard of.
For you, it’s a good thing. It will help your social life. Finish reading this then look up the bios on these guys. Inevitably one will come at the deadline — remember, I did kind of call the Ian White signing. Then you can walk into Cheli’s Chili and say things like “Paul Gaustad has two game-winning goals this season,” and walk out with loads of chicks. That’s how courtship works nowadays.
So here, in no particular order, are the guys I’ve Red Wings have been rumored as targeting in at least one semi-reputable source of news. Start studying now.
Matt Gilroy, D, TB: 6’1, 201 lbs., 27 years old. Goals: 1, Assists: 13, Plus/Minus: +1. Cap Hit: $1 million.
I’ve seen more “maybe Detroit is looking at Matt Gilroy” type of stories than actual high-quality, good-old-fashioned rumors, but he’s a low-priced defensemen in terms of salary and Detroit should be able to get him for a reasonable price considering Stevie Y is down there in Tampa.
Travis Moen, LW, MTL: 6’2, 217 lbs., 29 years old. Goals: 9, Assists: 7, Plus/Minus -3. Cap Hit: $1.5 million.
He’s probably the player who was linked to Detroit the most over the past week or so. A big grinder, he can fill a role and add some of that grit (yeah, I said it. DRINK!) people always say the Red Wings don’t have.
Brenden Morrow, LW, DAL: 6’0, 205 lbs. 33 years old. Goals: 8, Assists: 14, Plus/Minus” +2. Cap Hit: 4.1 million.
I’ve seen his name linked to Detroit a couple of times. He’s obviously a bit more expensive and a bit older than Moen but he’s a similar type of hard-working player. Detroit has basically been a nursing home for veteran players trying to make one (or two) more Stanley Cup runs. Hey, why not add Morrow? Well, because of his upper body injury that put him on the IR on Feb. 3. But besides that, why not add Morrow?
Bryan Allen, D, CAR: 6’5, 226 pounds. 31 years old. Goals: 0. Assists: 7. Plus/Minus: -1. Cap Hit: $3.15 million.
I saw him be just kind of thrown out there as a possibility with no real evidence to back it up, but aren’t unsubstantiated claims what the trade deadline is all about? Plus, he plays on a horrible team and sucks just enough to make the rumor believable.
Nicklas Grossman, D, DAL: 6’4, 230 pounds. 27 years old. Goals: 0, Assists: 5, Plus/Minus: 0. Cap Hit: 1.75 million.
See Allen, Bryan.
Paul Gaustad, C, BUF: 6’5, 212 pounds. 30 years old. Goals: 6, Assists: 8, Plus/Minus +1. Cap Hit: $2.5 million
This one might have some legs. Apparently Red Wings scout Kirk Maltby has been following the Sabres around. Gaustad is basically a bigger version of all the other forwards that have already been mentioned: gritty (DRINK!) with a bit of offensive punch. He’s my favorite of the group.
Teemu Selanne, RW, ANA: 6’0, 200 lbs. 41 years old. Goals: 18, Assists: 32, Plus/Minus: +5 Cap Hit: $4 million.
The chances don’t seem high since he would have to waive a no-trade clause and move across the country, leaving his family. But if he wants to pull a Ray Borque and become the rent-a-player who goes out on top Detroit isn’t a bad option. Chances are he stays closer to home though.
(Did I miss anybody? Am I wrong about the Red Wings targets? Then yell at me. Or you can just email me at email@example.com)