Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Kris Letang Trade Week, Day 2: The Detroit Red Wings

By Artistry (follow me on Twitter)

Click here for Day 1 of Kris Letang Trade Week: Toronto

The subject of today's unrealistic Kris Letang trade that will never happen is the Detroit Red Wings. Admittedly still searching for Niklas Lidstrom's heir and having dipped their toes into the Keith Yandle pool before presumably deciding the trade price was too steep, the Wings could be an ideal dance partner. Only one problem: Mrs. Holland didn't raise no dummy. Ken Holland is like a bizarro Ray Shero, the primary difference being Ken Holland has to live in Detroit. The pitch from Shero has to be this: "Look, we agree that Letang has transcendent talent. He's just untamed, a wild stallion. And Mike Babcock may be the best jockey in the world." If Mike Babcock gets his hands on Kris Letang, then just like that, Detroit may have another hall of famer in the stable. They've got excellent support in the affordable Nik Kronwall and the soon to be UFA Jonathan Ericsson. If Ericsson walks, the Wings, as per usual, have reinforcements ready in Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl.

Now, what's the return? Here's where Shero and Holland eye each other warily, circling each other, each hyper-aware that his counterpart is no easy mark. Whatever. No bullshit. The Pens need to get faster and younger. Take it or leave it, Ken.

The trade, after the jump...

D Danny DeKeyser

He was signed by the Wings this year out of college, and the kid is getting rave reviews. He apparently acquitted himself well in the playoffs, but we weren't paying much attention. He under contract for 1 more year at $1.35M, then becomes a restricted free agent. Here's the report from hockeysfuture.com:

The Clay Township, MI native has blossomed into one of college hockey’s top rearguards. And while he is a defensive defenseman, DeKeyser is by no means the stay-at-home type. He is very mobile, plays intelligently in all three zones, and can be seen jumping into plays when opportunities present themselves. At 6’3” and 198 pounds, DeKeyser has a good frame and one attribute that has had scouts clamoring to get glimpses of him is how well he uses that frame. DeKeyser uses his size, strength and tenacity quite effectively in wearing down opposing players and taking away time and space. This is particularly evident in his excellent play along the boards. DeKeyser is an agile skater with terrific feet and great balance. He moves equally well going north-south and east-west. His skating and feet also allow him to make smooth transitions and make the right plays. One attribute that sets DeKeyser apart from many other collegiate defensemen is his ability to control the tempo of the game. He sees the ice really well and possesses great hockey sense. His decision-making has continually improved with quicker and smarter reads and reactions. DeKeyser possesses a powerful shot and can get shots to the net. He has great hands and moves the puck exceedingly well, too.

He's 23 years old and more ready than all the Pens' prospects besides Despres. Add those two to the mix in the fall, let them get 80 games under their belts, and we're off.  Biggest downside:  Pierre McGuire + a guy named Danny = MUTE.

Hair is ready for prime time.
LW Gustav Nyquist

This is another 23-year-old who is ready to play. Nyquist is a top-6 worthy restricted free agent who the Pens can lock up right now at a reasonable price. He's 5'11 and 185 and fast. Here's hockeysfuture.com:
Nyquist has a very high hockey IQ, and pairing this with his good skating and great passing makes him a true playmaker. Also plays an effective defensive game.

Downside: he didn't score here.
C/W Darren Helm

You know him from the Cup Finals. He's the kid who was faster than everyone else and an absolute nightmare on the forecheck. The thing about Helm is, he missed the entire 2013 season with some terrible back issues. Who knows if he'll ever be the same. But he's only 26 and locked up for 3 years at $2.125M per. Get him.

The 18th pick in the 2013 entry draft

Too much? You only think that because we just fed you some optimistic speculation about two neophytes who may or may not be good and a guy who may never recover from back problems. The Pens are giving the Wings their new Lidstrom. No, not too much. Just right.

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