Commentary

Deadline deals: Central Division

Fixes for cap-crunched Wings and Hawks, and does Columbus have Crosby's next wing?

Originally Published: February 18, 2010
By E.J. Hradek and Puck Prospectus | ESPN Insider
Cristobal HuetBill Smith/NHLI/Getty ImagesIf Crisotbal Huet doesn't inspire confidence, here's a possible trade deadline solution that could.

After the Winter Olympics end, NHL teams will have just three days to tweak their rosters ahead of the March 3 trade deadline. Insider has linked ESPN The Magazine's E.J. Hradek with the metric-heads over at Puck Prospectus to evaluate every team's roster and the surrounding whispers from NHL Rumor Central. This is how your team could improve for a run at the playoffs, the Stanley Cup ... or for next season.

Click on another division to see Insider's breakdowns for the rest of the NHL.
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Detroit Red Wings

GM Ken Holland remains in a salary-cap crunch. He had to deal forward Ville Leino in a deal designed to create the cap room to bring previously injured winger Johan Franzen back into the fold. He might have to make another move to fit D Andreas Lilja (out since last season with post-concussion symptoms) onto his roster.

There have been rumors that Holland might try to move F Jason Williams or place veteran winger Kirk Maltby on a long-term injury reserve. Maltby is apparently mulling shoulder surgery.

This doesn't bode well for the Wings making a deal to add a significant player for the playoff drive. As they've maintained all along, the Wings must hope a return to good health will be enough to get them to the playoffs and beyond in 2010. -- E.J. Hradek


To see how Detroit and Chicago can navigate their cap situation and improve their roster, plus see who might skate on the wing of Sid the Kid, you must be an ESPN Insider.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.