Trade Analysis, Take 1

Since July is DRAGGING and there’s virtually no hockey news happening, I thought it might be fun to re-visit some of the trades of Red Wings past and open up some dialogue about who “won” the deal. Granted, many trades involve draft picks and prospects and its not fair to say a veteran gives you better value than a slowly developing youngster, it may not be impossible to sift through the details and see who ended up on the cleaner side of the stick.

The following describes the circumstances of trades the Red Wings have made since 2007. In the interest of not rambling on and on, I’ll cut these articles up into manageable segments — be it years or amount of trades.


Trade Deadline ’08 // Los Angeles trades BRAD STUART to Detroit for a 2nd Round Pick in 2008 and a 4th Round Pick in 2009.

The second round pick was later traded to Colorado (who drafted Peter Delmas), and the fourth round pick was later traded to Atlanta (who selected Ben Chiarot). For the record, Colorado acquired the draft pick in exchange for 23-year-old Brad Richardson; and Atlanta acquired the draft pick (among two others) in exchange for the 95th pick the 2009 draft, which was used to select goaltender J.F. Berube.

Brad Stuart has fit in nicely on the Wings blueline. Everyone from Ken Holland and Mike Babcock to Nick Lidstrom and Nik Kronwall have gushed about Stuart filling out the Top 4, and perfectly complimenting Kronwall. Nik Jr. may have inspired a motivational poster, but Brad Stuart is no slouch on the boomers, either. And let’s not forget that Brad Stuart was a top-ten draft pick…

Peter Delmas is one of SEVEN goaltenders in the Avalanche prospects pipeline. According to Hockey’s Future, he’s a mature goaltender with lots of confidence and poise, which are things that the Avs could really use high dosages of. He’s only 19, which means he’ll have to be returned to Junior unless he makes the Avalanche out of training camp (which is unlikely, despite their recent goaltending woes).

Ben Chiarot is a banger with “prototypical NHL size.” He’s got his own fight card at and Hockey’s Future projects him as a bottom pairing stay-at-home defenseman.

The jury will be out until we see what kind of players Delmas and Chiarot develop into, but at the moment, it’s fair to say that the Wings have the upper hand in this deal. Stuart was given a lot of credit for being a puzzle piece that may have put the Red Wings over the hump and into the championship photo, and that’s definitely worth a 2nd and a 4th. While it may be too early to declare Detroit the winner of this deal, it’s not too early to call Los Angeles the loser (essentially trading Brad Stuart, a 4th round pick, and a 7th round pick for Brad Richardson and JF Berube), but like we said above – time will tell.

Trade Deadline ’07 // Florida trades TODD BERTUZZI to Detroit for Shawn Matthias and a conditional draft pick.
At the time, Shawn Matthias projected as a “second-tier” prospect in the Red Wings organization. Since arriving in the Panthers organization, he’s made great strides and now finds himself on Hockey’s Future’s Top 50 prospects list. It wasn’t unreasonable for Florida to think they were acquiring a Future Bertuzzi in exchange for a current, declining Bertuzzi (minus, ya know, the attempted murder).

If I’m not mistaken, the draft pick was conditional on whether or not the Red Wings re-signed Bertuzzi. They did not, so no more compensation was given to Florida. Good.

Todd Bertuzzi was a relative bust in Detroit. Any romantic views of the 1999-2005 version of Todd Bertuzzi flew out the window and into the penalty box with one retarded penalty after another. While his offensive stats weren’t terrible, anyone who thought that he had any more 35-40 goal seasons in his future were mistaken. Even without the conditional draft pick exchanging hands, Florida won this deal.

Trade Deadline ’07 // Philadelphia trades KYLE CALDER to Detroit in a three-way deal that sent Jason Williams to Chicago.

The Kyle Calder acquisition was lost in the hysteria that was Bertuzzimania ’round these parts. But, ask any Red Wings fan in 2007 and they’ll tell you that getting rid of Jason Williams was addition by subtraction, and the fact that Calder scored about four seconds into his first shift as a Red Wing was icing on a delicious Williams-free cake.

Calder didn’t re-sign with the Wings, instead opting for a 2-year, $5.4M deal with the Kings. Perhaps the best part of this deal was that Detroit acquired an expiring contract in exchange for one that had another year left on it. If the Wings brass didn’t see a place for Jason Williams, this move was essentially making room for someone cheaper, and yet a better fit for the system in 07-08.

Breaking it down to simple math: Jason Williams was scoring 0.45 points per game in 06-07. Kyle Calder paced 0.74 in his 19 regular season games before becoming a borderline healthy scratch in the post-season.

While the trade may seem to be a wash, all signs point to Detroit winning the short-term deal and winning long-term by creating more roster and cap space.