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Holland: Wings ‘have to play our way into being a buyer’ at deadline

Jan 30, 2014, 10:41 AM EDT

Ken Holland

Having made the playoffs for 22 consecutive seasons, Detroit has often been a club looking to add talent at the trade deadline.

Year 23 could be different, however.

“We have to play our way into being a buyer,” Wings GM Ken Holland said on Wednesday, per “There’s no use spending assets unless we play our way into a buyer position.”

Detroit heads into Thursday night’s action on the outside of the playoff picture, tied on points (57) with eighth-place Carolina but sitting in ninth thanks to fewer regulation victories. That, combined with the schedule — the Wings have just five games left until the Olympic break, then another three between the end of the break and the deadline — is making Holland’s assessment difficult.

Further complicating things? Detroit’s injury and cap issues. From

The Red Wings will be over the cap when all their injured players return (Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Stephen Weiss), if everyone else is healthy, even after sending some players back to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

So in order for the Red Wings to acquire a player, they need to shed at least an equal amount of salary.

Detroit has already tried to save space this year by jettisoning veterans like Jordin Tootoo, Patrick Eaves and Mikael Samuelsson to the AHL, so it’s possible the club could do it again. But even with that option available, Holland may end up standing pat.

“We like our kids,” Holland said. “I don’t know that there’s players available on the market that are better than the kids we got.”

  1. lowenni - Jan 30, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    Assuming everyone’s expected to be healthy for the playoffs, I don’t think the Wings should be serious buyers this year. Most likely they aren’t going to really contend for the Cup. They should continue to give guys like Tatar a shot…what a great player he’s gonna be.

    • jpelle82 - Jan 30, 2014 at 12:18 PM

      my guess is they are selling at the deadline for two reasons. 1. because i dont see them playing their way into buying and 2. they can get some breathing room cap wise to do whats necessary in the offseason. cap’s going up but they could still use the space if they want to go after a need in free agency and still retain who they want to retain moving forward.

      • lionstigersandwingsohmy - Jan 30, 2014 at 1:27 PM

        The only way they are selling at the deadline is if they go 0-8 before then. Even if they do, who are they going to sell? There is no way any of the younger guys with talent get traded, or Z, Datsyuk, Kronwall. What’s left? a bunch of role players and/or guys that have a contract expiring this year anyway. My guess is that they will stand pat.

      • lionstigersandwingsohmy - Jan 30, 2014 at 1:30 PM

        I take back my last comment. Even if they are going to make the playoffs, trading away Cleary would be OK with me.

  2. smarshall3789 - Jan 30, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    Kenny stand pat unless you are adding a good d-man or trading away that useless Quincy that would free up space what a joke he is! Otherwise keep the kids we got a few that are gonna be special a few years down the road plus when everyone is healthy we will still make the playoffs

  3. rbbbaron - Jan 30, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    “I don’t know that there’s players available on the market that are better than the kids we got.”

    You’ve got to be freakin’ kidding me. Where was that foresight in the off-season when you went out and threw 4.9mil at Stephen Weiss (for the next 5 years!)?

    • lionstigersandwingsohmy - Jan 31, 2014 at 11:03 AM

      That’s funny. Weiss has played so well this year, I totally forgot he was even on the team. We are stuck with him now though, although we do still have a compliance buyout, if he gets healthy enough to use it on him.

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