The Red Wings finally rid themselves of Pavel Datsyuk’s contract, packaging it with their 16th overall pick to Arizona for the Coyotes’ 20th overall pick, 53rd overall pick and forward Joe Vitale. With the trade, the Red Wings shed $6.38MM from the salary cap according to CapFriendly.
Datysuk’s contract was a point of contention for the Red Wings heading into the draft. The 37-year-old forward recently retired from the NHL and will be playing in Russia next season. But general manager Ken Holland pulled off what many believe to be an astoundingly fortuitous deal by only moving down four picks in draft to #20, grabbing the 53rd pick overall, and Vitale.
Speculation persists that Detroit will make a serious run at Steven Stamkos should he become a free agent. The Red Wings were also rumored to trade goalie Jimmy Howard’s contract away, but one of their best chances was with Calgary, who made an earlier deal for St. Louis goalie Brian Elliott.