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.
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.