To say that this season has not gone well for Red Wings defenseman Trevor Daley would be an understatement. He has missed considerable time with multiple injuries and when he has been in the lineup, he hasn’t been the productive player he has been in the past. However, as a veteran with a pair of Stanley Cup rings under his belt, there could be a team or two interested in his services. He is certainly hoping so as NBC Sports’ Pierre McGuire reported in an appearance on TSN 1200 (audio link) that Daley has spoken to Detroit GM Steve Yzerman about his willingness to be dealt by next month’s trade deadline.
The 36-year-old has played in just 26 games this season, recording only four assists along with a -16 plus/minus rating. He’s also averaging just 16:11 per night of ice time, more than four minutes per game below his career average and his lowest ATOI since his rookie season back in 2003-04. However, he’s still a decent skater and teams are typically looking for veteran defensive depth at this time of year so they may be willing to overlook the struggles if the asking price is low enough.
One possible challenge here will be his contract. Daley, a pending unrestricted free agent, carries a $3.167MM cap hit. Detroit would almost certainly have to pay down the maximum 50% of that to facilitate a deal; they’ve yet to use any of their three retention slots this season. But even at a price tag of a pro-rated $1.583MM, that might be too high for some cap-strapped teams. It’s worth noting that Daley has a 15-team no-trade clause but given his desire to be moved, it’s unlikely that it will come into play.
Daley is one of four pending unrestricted free agents that Detroit has on their back end, joining Mike Green, Jonathan Ericsson, and Alex Biega. None are likely to be part of their future plans so it’s quite possible that their defense corps will look a lot different than it does now when the deadline comes and goes on February 24th.