Veteran NHL defenseman Trevor Daley hasn't appeared in the Stanley Cup playoffs since he won back-to-back Stanley Cups with the PIttsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017. Now 36 years old and on the final year of his contract, the Detroit Red Wings defenseman reportedly wants back in.
During NBC's broadcast of the Red Wings-Minnesota Wild game on Wednesday, analyst Pierre McGuire reported that that Daley has told Detroit management he would like to move on and get a chance to play for another championship if the team finds an opportunity to trade him.
Daley certainly won't see the playoffs if he isn't moved; the Red Wings (12-35-4, 28 points) are the league's worst club by an impressively wide margin. He also isn't exactly a name that moves the needle for a playoff bubble team looking to morph into a true Cup favorite. Of seven Detroit blueliners who have played at least 20 games, Daley ranks sixth in average ice time (16 minutes, 11 seconds) and has only four assists to his name in 2019-20.
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However, depth at any position (but especially defense) is always at a premium come the intensity of postseason play, which can and will strike players with injuries. Daley made his NHL debut in 2003 and has 71 games of playoff experience to his resume. The trade market is reportedly shifting when it comes to defensemen, too. TSN's Darren Dreger said Wednesday that a growing number of teams desire help on the blue line.
"What's interesting about this year is the first half of the season, you could pretty much pick a defenseman up for very little. No, you're not getting a top-four guy, but you'd get a third-pairing guy, to be fair," Dreger said on TSN Overdrive.
By the midway point of the season, he said the market had flipped to the opposite as a result of injuries.
"You want a guy to play in your top-four, top-five, top-six, you're going to pay for it," Dreger said. "The market has shifted. Now all of a sudden you've got Carolina who had depth on their blue line and [Hurricanes general manager] Don Wadell is on Line One going, 'I need help on my blue line and I might have to give up my first-round draft pick to acquire that piece.'"
That reported seller's market could convince a team such as Carolina, now without top defenseman Dougie Hamilton, to seek out a veteran depth piece like Daley to join a young playoff contender. Detroit GM Steve Yzerman could hold leverage over teams in negotiations as he seeks prospects and draft picks to expedite the Red Wings' rebuild.