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Defensive upgrade options - give me your picks

November 18, 2023, 9:43 PM ET [28 Comments]
Jeremy Laura
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After Detroit blew a 2-0 lead against Toronto in the 3rd period (losing in regulation) it was the 14th time in 17 games Detroit let in 3 or more goals. Many of you are more than tired of “there’s nothing the goalie could do on that one”. However, after Walman left the game injured the team dynamic changed. He and Seider form (opinion)the best defensive duo. Ghost moves the puck well on the power play. Regardless, it’s time for the office to take a look at the defense.

Link verbiage

The questions of “internal vs external” change comes up first. If Walman ends up on IR the team could take a look at Edvinsson, but there seems to be some consensus that another year in GR may be the best move for him

Nikita Zadorov has requested a trade. A 6’6” left shot who averages around 18 minutes a night. Understand that I have no idea what the ask is. Detroit has Boston’s first round pick (ours went to Ottawa) and just one pick in each round (round 4 is Dallas). Zadorov fits in the cap and is one of several players likely headed toward free agency if he’s not dealt by the deadline.

Noah Hanifin would be a nice upgrade, but is up for a raise from his 4.95m salary.

The only real advantage Detroit has right now is a little bit of cap space. Toronto wants to upgrade the blue line, Edmonton wants to upgrade the blue line, but that’s a money in/money out deal.

Mario Ferraro is a left shot 6 footer in San Jose. The Sharks are in a predicament and are probably getting and making phone calls. attorney just 25 and 2 more years at 3.25M this is a player Detroit can fit. The ask may just be too high (if he’s available)

Nikolai-knyzhov (also out of San Jose) is a 6’2” left shot D averaging around 17 minutes per night. A low 1.25m salary will be attractive to teams who can recover that sort of cap money and could see several interested suitors who want healthy bodies if they make a long post season run.

William Borgen may be available as Seattle is struggling to get out of the gate. At 6’3”, the right shot defenseman is a younger option for the second line at 26 with a 2.7m salary.

Deals in the Eastern Conference can be tricky (and expensive). Calgary, San Jose and Seattle are all struggling and may be open to some conversations. Let me know in the comments if you’d try a call up (assuming we get room on the roster) or pick up the phone. 1st round picks are typically off the table unless you have multiple, what about 2nd or 3rd?

It will be interesting to see if Detroit addresses the blue line at all or just rides this one out. With Ottawa having our first round pick, it may not make sense to just limp along with a 3 GAA as we hit the doldrums of the season.
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