NHL teams that need depth at center will be taking a look at Detroit Red Wings faceoff guru Luke Glendening ahead of the trade deadline.
The deadline is 3 p.m. Monday, April 12. It’s been a quiet week for NHL trades so far. In fact, there have been just two trades in April. One of those trades was within the Central Division between Chicago and Florida, who decided to swap a couple forwards.
TSN’s hockey insider Frank Seravalli said the buyers list appears to be “way down” ahead of this trade deadline due to factors including:
“The flat salary cap; that a shortened schedule reduces an acquisition’s impact; that nearly half the NHL is operating in long-term injured reserve; diminished financial incentive to win an extra playoff round with arena capacity restrictions; tightened internal team budgets; a looming Expansion Draft.”
Yes, this is not a great list of obstacles for a team like the Red Wings who would love to be on a selling spree right now.
Regardless, here’s a look at what Glendening offers and some of his potential suitors.
- Age: 31
- Contract status: Final year of four-year contract with Detroit -- UFA at end of this season.
- Cap hit: $1.8 million
- Ice time: Glendening averages 14:40 of ice time this season, slotting in at 3rd or 4th-line center for the Red Wings on most nights, plus penalty kills.
- Stats: 3 goals, 8 assists for 11 points through 39 games played this season, +3 rating on a team with a -38 goal differential
- Possession: Strong PDO of 103.8 while starting 69.8% of his faceoffs in defensive zone
- Strengths: Shutdown center who can kill penalties, boasts a league-best 63% faceoff win percentage
Potential Glendening suitors:
The Panthers are led by Aleksander Barkov at the center position, but beyond that they are lacking some depth. Glendening would be an immediate upgrade over 22-year-old Eetu Luostarinen or Noel Acciari right now, adding some defensive-zone grit to a Panthers squad that is now without defenseman Aaron Ekblad (injured). They have the cap space to add this depth and bolster their roster for the playoffs. Glendening could fit in well with a Joel Quenneville-run team.
It’s tough to understand what this team is willing to send back the other way, but Detroit GM Steve Yzerman has made it clear he is looking for prospects and draft picks. You’d like to see Florida give up a 3rd or 4th-round pick here, if this was going to happen at all.
Nashville is another Central Division team that could use some forward depth, but are they buyers or sellers at the deadline? The Predators are sitting in 4th place now thanks to an 8-2-0 run, but is it sustainable? Would Glendening be the right kind of player to help give them a more secure hold on that final playoff spot in the Central?
With so many injuries for Nashville, including center Matt Duchene, maybe adding a Glendening could help keep them in the fight at a bargain price with low risk. However, GM David Poile could be looking at making moves that would do more than just “keep them in the fight.”
Again, if this were to happen the Red Wings would want a decent draft pick in return -- 3rd or 4th-round. This really all depends on the kind of player Poile thinks could help this team, but first whether or not he sees himself as a buyer or seller at this stage.
The Penguins could use the center depth, but they have very limited cap space. Maybe the Red Wings would retain some of Glendening’s salary. I could see him working well with Sidney Crosby’s team, stabilizing the bottom half of the forwards.
The Red Wings are among a short list of teams -- Chicago and San Jose -- that have made it clear they will be flexible in offering cap space to help make deals happen.
Perhaps Edmonton GM Ken Holland, who first signed Glendening as an undrafted player out of college, is interested in adding the center. Beyond super star centers Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, the Oilers are struggling down the middle, and have been for some time. Honestly, this could be the best fit for Glendening.
Now, with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins playing on the top line with McDavid, the Oilers have Jujhar Khaira and Gaetan Haas centering the third and fourth lines. It’s not an ideal situation, and you would hope Kyle Turris could help out. He hasn’t, and now the Oilers have to consider moving Turris before a deadline deal like this, according to their cap space -- they don’t have any.
Would Yzerman and Holland be able to work some magic here?
With Blake Wheeler out with a suspected concussion, the Jets might have to shift their deadline plans and add a depth forward. They are trying to secure 2nd or 3rd place in the North Division, and they have looked like a solid playoff team.
Now, without their leader up front and his status for return completely unknown right before the trade deadline, Winnipeg may want to consider a player like Glendening. Personally, I’d prefer him over Nate Thompson, who is slotting in at center on the Jets 4th line right now. They would have to put Wheeler on injured reserve first to make space, and may even consider shipping someone out.
The Jets already traded away their 2021 4th-round pick for Cody Eakin. Is a rental like Glendening worth another draft pick for them?
Before the Wheeler injury, talk was the Jets were looking for a defenseman, so perhaps that’s where their focus will remain.
Jonathan Bernier trade watch
Meanwhile, goalie Jonathan Bernier is at the top of the Detroit sales list. He just needs to get healthy -- he has been hurt and hasn’t played since March 18. That’s when he left a game against the Dallas Stars with an apparent lower body injury. Could he be back and available for a trade before the deadline?
Bernier, 32, becomes an unrestricted free agent (UFA) at the end of this season. He carries a $3 million cap hit right now. He boasts a .918 save percentage through 17 games played with the dismal Red Wings. He’s been a trade target longer that just this season -- I was offering him up last season, too.
I’ll be taking a closer look at where Bernier could go in the newsletter this week -- sign up here: