It's no secret that the Detroit Red Wings have been trying to make a trade happen in order to clear enough cap space to facilitate the signing of forward Andreas Athanasiou, one of the few remaining unsigned restricted free agents in the National Hockey League.
While not many rumors have filtered out of Detroit over the summer, we may now have our first big rumor regarding exactly what kind of trade the Red Wings are trying to make. Unsurprisingly it involves one of their forwards, and in this case Riley Sheahan in particular.
The other rumored deal on the table involves Pittsburgh Penguins’ defenseman Derrick Pouliot. A swap of Sheahan for Pouliot would save the Wings ~$1.2 million which may be enough to sign Athanasiou (after Johan Franzen hits long-term injured reserve). However, the 23-year-old Pouliot is largely an unknown, having appeared in just 67 games over the last three seasons. While Pouliot ranked 9th among all AHL defensemen last season in 5v5 estimated primary points/60 minutes, it remains unlikely that he develops into more than a bottom-pairing defenseman. If the Wings do move Sheahan to Pittsburgh, the asking price should start with Pouliot plus a 2nd or 3rd-round pick.
The Red Wings are always looking to help improve their blue line, and whole Pouliot isn't some kind of superstar upgrade at that position, he is certainly a serviceable NHL defenseman, and one that would give the Red Wings the flexibility they have been searching for.
Would you make this deal if you were the Penguins? Would you make it if you were the Red Wings? If not how would you modify it to make it work in your eyes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.