The Detroit Red Wings have had an unusual offseason thus far, one in which they have failed to land any of the marquee free agents. The Wings were looking to rebuild their blue line through free agency, only they were unable to land either Ryan Suter or Shea Weber from the Nashville Predators. They also lost Brad Stuart, who took a pay cut in order to return to the San Jose Sharks. But could Detroit wait a little longer and the go after current Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle?
The Wings know that they need to do something. Not only did they miss out on some of the top defensemen available, but they didn’t land any offensive stars so far either. Sure, forwards such as Shane Doan and Alexander Semin are still on the open market, but neither has strongly been linked to the Wings at this point.
Add in the fact that Nicklas Lidstrom has already retired, and Tomas Holmstrom is still on the fence as to whether or not he wants to come back and play another season, and Detroit is facing some serious problems going forward.
But one thing that Detroit is not facing is money woes. In fact, if a new collective bargaining agreement is reached, with an expected lower salary cap, the Wings could sit back like sharks in the water when teams are forced to lower their payroll. And whereas the pun was entirely intended, the first call the Wings make could indeed be to the Sharks regarding Boyle.
The Wings will have to do something. As things currently stand, their top pairing on the blue line could be that of Jonathan Ericsson and Jakub Kindl. That won’t exactly strike fear into many opponents. In fact, Detroit would be the team most worried about the possibility of those two as their top defensive pairing.
While Detroit was able to add Jordin Tootoo and Mikael Samuelsson, they know they need more.
Boyle would certainly be considered more. We have already heard multiple reports that San Jose would be strongly inclined to listen to offers for Boyle, as he was tied to a possible trade to the New York Rangers last week. That never materialized, but since Boyle’s full no-trade clause expired on July 1, the Sharks have been fielding offers at this point, with a move expected at some point prior to the upcoming season’s trade deadline.
Since his full no-trade clause expired, Boyle can submit a list of eight teams to which he would accept a trade. It is unknown as to whether or not the Red Wings would make that list. Expect Detroit to make a strong push to acquire Boyle at some point, or at least talk him into putting them on his list.
If they are unable to get anywhere with the Sharks and Boyle, the Red Wings could turn to inquiring about the availability of current Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle or Jay Bouwmeester of the Calgary Flames.