Red Wings center Luke Glendening is no stranger to being involved in trade deadline speculation. Veteran role players like him are always in demand at this time of year but no move ever came to fruition. However, now that he’s in the final year of his contract and Detroit already way out of playoff contention, this feels like a case of when and not if he’s dealt and there should be quite a few suitors for his services.
One of those suitors is Montreal, reports Sportsnet’s Eric Engels. The Canadiens have struggled at the faceoff dot this season and Glendening is the best in the league among qualifying centers in that regard, winning 65.7 of his draws which is well above his career 55% average. He also leads all Detroit forwards in shorthanded ice time per game and the Canadiens find their penalty kill in the bottom ten in the league.
While the 31-year-old isn’t known for his offensive contributions, he has already equalled his point production from last season with three goals and six assists through 27 games; his 0.33 point per game average is also a career best.
As is the case with many teams that are looking to buy, the salary cap will be a challenge. While Glendening’s cap hit of $1.8MM isn’t particularly exorbitant, it’s more than they can afford right now. Detroit could retain up to half of that to make a deal more affordable but that would only up the asking price. Of course, there is also the two-week quarantine period to consider from Montreal’s perspective (or any other Canadian-based team interested in acquiring him).
As things stand, it may not be a trade deadline that sees plenty of top-end talent changing hands with role players that are more affordable on the cap becoming a higher priority. For the Red Wings, they hold one of the more interesting ones in Glendening and Montreal certainly won’t be the only team calling about him in the coming weeks.