Pick a Grinder, Any Grinder

It's the All Star Break, and the Detroit Red Wings are probably trying to forget their ugly 7-2 loss against the Montreal Canadiens. Pavel Datsyuk and Jimmy Howard are representing the Wings in Ottawa, with Datsyuk getting picked first overall in the fantasy draft to Team Chara and Howard somehow being the last goalie picked, also to Team Chara.

The rest of the team will enjoy watching the two in their individual events; Datsyuk in the puck control relay and Howard will be a part of the faster skater as a goalie versus Los Angeles' Jonathan Quick.

After the break though, naturally all the attention is turned to the trade deadline, and it's one of my favourite times of the NHL season. Who goes where? Looking at rumours that make sense and then all the Toronto ones always amuses me. I'm not an expert, but from following the Red Wings for so long has drilled the way they do business into my head. 

So, I hate to say it Wings fans, but you can forget about Ryan Suter and Zach Parise. Shea Weber shouldn't even be on your minds anyway. He's a restricted free agent, Nashville is going to the playoffs and that means Suter is off the market too, unless you want to trade one for one for them, which means giving up someone like Niklas Kronwall. No thanks.

Parise might get dealt at the deadline, but Ken Holland isn't going to sell the farm for him. All of these guys can be signed in free agency where you don't run the risk of losing anyone.

Holland made a point last week about how he liked the moves the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks made at the deadline last year. They brought in some grinding, character guys that could play a big role as the playoffs wore on.

So that tells me that something like that might occur this year with Detroit. Three guys pop into mind that are all UFA at the end of the year, with one not being my favourite guy but it's in the rumour mill.

Tuomo Ruutu of Carolina, Travis Moen of Montreal and Samuel Pahlsson of Columbus have been mentioned as Detroit bound players and I like two of the three. 

While Moen was a Cup champion with Anaheim (as was Pahlsson as a part of the same line), it seemed like he fed off the rest of the team. In 46 games he has nine goals and seven assists on a struggling Montreal club.

Name Salary G A Pts PIM +/-
Ruutu $3.8 15 11 26 40 -1
Pahlsson $2.65 2 8 10 18 0
Moen $1.5 9 7 16 41 -3


Pahlsson might be the guy that can have the most improvement. With only two goals on Columbus he probably won't cost a whole lot, maybe a draft pick. He's a stellar penalty killer and plays physical.

Ruutu is my pick for who I would want Detroit picking up. He might cost a pick and a prospect, but he has second line scoring capabilities if paired with the right guys.

The main thing is that all of them should come relatively cheap and will benefit the Wings in the tough grind of the playoffs.

Follow TCL Red Wings on Facebook AND Twitter to win a Nicklas Lidstrom jersey when we hit 500 combined followers!

Kyle Busch


A.K. Bennett's picture

I've seen Ruutu's named attached to Detroit the most. If his contract was a million less or he was more consistently healthy, I wouldn't say no to Derek Roy.

George Prax's picture

I think Moen is one of the more underrated grinders in the league. The dude gets a lot of criticism but he always shows up, he can play on any line and even score some goals. I could definitely see him fitting in with Detroit if the Habs have to give him up.

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

Probably would only need to give up like a 6th rounder, what do you think?

George Prax's picture

lol what? Maybe I'm being a little bias here but I'd say a 3rd rounder, maybe a 4th.

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

Might be a little biased but I mean that's probably what will be offered, so you have to weigh if you want to take the pick or keep him. I don't see Detroit giving up a 3rd for a guy that plays on the fourth line and can walk as a UFA

George Prax's picture

Last year, Brad Winchester was traded for a 3rd round pick. He makes less money than Moen but they had pretty much the same stats and they're the same age. Moen's also a cup winner and he was an important part of the Ducks checking line when they won. He's a 3rd liner and a pretty well rounded player who'll drop the gloves on a whim and do just about anything for his team. Not exactly a key player but definitely has more value than a 6th rounder...

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

Winchester for a third? Good lord that's steep lol. If anything maybe a prospect.

George Prax's picture

A pick is an undeveloped prospect Wink

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

We'll throw Louie-Marc Aubrey at you, he's French and that'll sell Gauthier for sure and that way the fans are happy too!