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

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.