Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland likes to describe his job as winning today with an eye always on tomorrow.
Its a simple philosophy to manage by, and nobody does it better than Holland -- even if he makes a mistake or two along the way.
With the reacquisition of defenseman Kyle Quincey from Tampa Bay on Tuesday, Holland corrected one of his few miscalculations. He gave up Detroits first-round pick in this years NHL Entry Draft and minor-league defenseman Sebastien Piche to get Quincey.
Back in 2008, the Wings had two promising, young defensemen on their roster, Kyle Quincey and Derek Meech, who were out of options. One was going to make the team and the other would be sent to Grand Rapids if he cleared waivers, which was an unlikely scenario.
Detroit kept Meech, and Quincey was claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Kings. Since that time, Quincey has developed in to a top-four defenseman, while Meech flounders in the Winnipeg Jets system.
Quincey, 26, was originally drafted by Detroit in the fourth round in 2003. At 6-foot-2 and 207 pounds, he's an above-average skater who can play the point on the power play. He also logs a lot of ice time and plays against the oppositions' top forwards.
Quinceys skill set is above average, but he tends to get in trouble when he overthinks the game and could be more physical -- especially in his own zone.
Quincey will become a restricted free agent this summer, but Holland has already said that Detroit will make him a qualifying offer. If the Wings cannot sign Quincey to a long-term deal, hell at least be in Detroit through next season.
By trading for Quincey, the Wings have added depth to their blue-line corps for their Cup run. Even more important, theyve added top-four talent if upcoming unrestricted free agent Brad Stuart decides to leave Detroit andor Nick Lidstrom decides to retire.
It also gives prospect Brendan Smith more time to hone his skills in Grand Rapids if hes not completely ready to make the transition to the NHL.
Holland has always kicked himself for letting Quincey go, and Im sure hes extremely pleased to get him back in a Red Wings uniform.
This deal was made as a long-term move. It gives the Wings several options, depending on how the free-agent market plays out this summer.
Give the Wings full marks because this trade was made for winning today with a definite eye on tomorrow.