While Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall has spent his entire 15-year career in Detroit, he’s willing to hear out GM Ken Holland if the team decides to approach him about a trade, notes Gregg Krupa of The Detroit News. The 38-year-old acknowledges that there’s a sense of pride about spending his entire career with one organization but that he’d feel obligated to hear out Holland if approached. Kronwall is in the final year of his contract with a $4.75MM cap hit and holds a no-trade clause that allows for ten teams he can be traded to. While he’s not the top pairing player he was in the prime of his career, he’s still logging nearly 20 minutes a night on Detroit’s back end and could certainly serve as a capable third pairing defender for some contending teams.
Elsewhere around the Atlantic Division:
- Still with Detroit, the Red Wings would like to re-sign pending UFA blueliner Nick Jensen, reports MLive’s Ansar Khan. The 28-year-old started the season as a healthy scratch but has since emerged as one of their more reliable defenders. Jensen is in the midst of a career year that has seen him average nearly 21 minutes a night of playing time. With a cap hit of just over $810K, he’d be an intriguing rental addition for a cap-strapped contender if the two sides can’t agree on an extension.
- Although there has been some talk that the Maple Leafs will look to add a defenseman before the deadline, one of their current rearguards is also involved in trade discussions as well. In an appearance on Sportsnet 590 (audio link), Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports that Nikita Zaitsev’s name is out there as someone that teams believe they can acquire. The 27-year-old has five years remaining on his contract after this one with a $4.5MM cap hit so finding a way to shed that contract would give Toronto some extra salary cap flexibility. However, Johnston acknowledged that they may need to attach another asset in order to get someone to take the contract and a follow-up move to acquire a right-shot replacement would need to be in place before pulling the trigger on a Zaitsev deal.