the Casual Red Wings Fan's Guide to What the F$@% Just Happened
The NHL Trade Deadline came and went on February 24 like a drunken relative: it showed up crazed, flipped a table, ate your still-frozen burrito, and then stumbled out the door wearing one shoe. For Detroit Red Wings fans used to the quiet desperation of Ken Holland's deadlines, the first Steve Yzerman deadline was an exciting and fearless change of pace. So what happened?
1. Mike Green traded to Edmonton Oilers for Kyle Brodziak's earthly remains and maybe a third-round pick.
This one kicked off the fireworks, with Yzerman doing what Holland never seemed able to/desired to: trade offensive defenseman Mike Green. Green kept resigning as his trade value decreased, and it finally seemed to reach a point where Yzerman was just like, "Oh for FUCK'S SAKE" and traded him to the dude who couldn't part with him. Rational? Absolutely!
As explained by the Big Hockey Brained Tom Mitsos, the pick "is a 2020 fourth-round pick but becomes a third-round pick in 2021 if the Oilers advance to the conference final and Green plays in at least half of the games." Nice! Yzerman has a proclivity of turning mid-round picks into productive players (see: Lightning, Tampa Bay).
As for Brodziak, he's a dude who is basically retired (on Long Term Injured Reserve) due to myriad injuries, and while it's never humane to root for an injured player's fate it is nice that the Wings won't have to roster him. Instead, they can use that spot to call up a young dude and see if he is worth any future roster spot. Plus, it's an expiring contract! More money available next summer to sign old Free Agents to one-year deals!
Verdict: I think this is good. It's good, right? Yeah. Good!
2. Andreas Athanasiou (and a "Ryan Kuffner") to the Edmonton Oilers for Sam "Maybe Good Oiler?" Gagner and two second-round picks.
Personally, this was a tough one for me. Once upon a time when I was producing "It Is What It Is with Sean Baligian" on ESPN 961, I got to use my press pass to take in a Grand Rapids Griffins game to watch Anthony Mantha.
Sitting in the press box with the aforementioned Big Hockey Brain Tom Mitsos, instead of focusing on Mantha I couldn't stop watching a young Athanasiou use his otherworldly speed to create chance after chance. I put down my Tim Bits (which were COMPLIMENTARY! Thanks, Griffins!) and turned to Tom.
Grant: "Tom! Who's that...guy?" *points like a child*
Grant: "Him! Andre...Anthony Say Who?" Tom: "...who?"
Tom: "...Andreas Athanasiou?"
Grant: "GOD YES HE'S SO FAST"
So, I've had a soft spot for the speedy French Canadian for a while, and seeing him be the proverbial square peg in a round hole in Detroit's grinding defensive system has been frustrating. Now, we get to watch the unholy terror he's going to unleash alongside fellow breakneck businessman Connor McDavid. Can you even imagine how pathetic a defender will look with those two flying down the ice in a two-on-one?
The Wings get former first-round pick and son of Dave, Sam Gagner. I kinda dig this, actually. They can plug in a young veteran to see what he has left, and slot him really anywhere in the top 9 forwards. He's shown in the past that he can play, and it'd be cool to see what he can do without an ounce of pressure in this lost Detroit season.
Highlighting the package is, of course, the pair of second-round draft picks. Again, Yzerman has struck gold in picks outside of the first round and REALLY used a second-rounder well when he nabbed current offensive wizard/genius Nikita Kucherov. Now he's got two of 'em? From Edmonton, who's good but not great? Yeah, that's gnarly!
Verdict: Momentary sadness gives way to cautious optimism!
3. Red Wings Claim Dmytro Timashov from Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Athletic's Prashanth Iyer (who also possesses a BIG Hockey Brain) gave a tidbit on an otherwise smallish potatoes waiver claim:
Which, y'know what? I'll take it. He's a feisty young guy looking for a chance, which seems to be Yzerman's MO for this season's forward acquisitions (Brendan Perlini and Robbie Fabbri). And it cost the Wings absolutely NOOOOTHIIIIIIING!
Verdict: Shit yeah, why not?