Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 3/9/12
DETROIT -- With their abundance of injuries, life for the Detroit Red Wings has been careening down a miserable path. They now find themselves in a battle to finish in the top spot of the NHLs Central Division. Gone are the days when the Wings would cruise through their divisional rivals. Many of the Red Wings' critics always pointed to the weak Central as their playground, where they would rack up points and hardly break a sweat. In a hard-cap league that, for the most part, has competent management throughout, parity has become the norm in todays NHL. With so many teams competing for a playoff berth, the NHLs trade-deadline day -- moved up two weeks as part of the 2005 CBA agreement -- has become an anti-climactic event that finds many more teams buying than selling their assets. If deadline day remained the same under the current CBA, it would have been March 12. As Red Wing fans can attest to, a lot has happened since Feb. 27, when Detroit moved Mike Commodore to Tampa Bay for a conditional seventh-round pick -- their only deadline-day transaction. It would have been extremely interesting to see what the Wings would have done, considering their rash of injuries, if March 12 was the actual deadline day this year. We can speculate all we want, but one thing is clear: Red Wings GM Ken Holland has left many of the team's faithful miffed, somewhat befuddled and downright angry that he didnt do anything to bolster his roster on deadline day. Especially since the Red Wings had 5 million under the salary cap to spend. With that kind of cash burning a hole through the fans' pockets, the least Holland could have done was to spend it on something. Instead, many believe he sat idly by as his competitors became stronger. Holland has always said that if a deal is going down in the league and he isnt aware of it, then he's not doing his job. According to a source close to the team, this is how it played out for the Wings on deadline day 2012. There were two primary targets for the Red Wings on Feb. 27: Buffalos Paul Gaustad, now with Nashville; and Columbus' Sami Pahlsson, now with Vancouver. The entire league was aware that the Wings wanted to add a gritty, big-bodied forward who was an above-average face-off man. Gaustad fit that description, but the day before the deadline, the Sabres informed the Wings that they had already been offered a first-round draft pick for Gaustad. Detroit had traded their first-round pick a week earlier to the Lightning for defenseman Kyle Quincey. The Wings asked the Sabres to contact them if things changed but knew the call would never come -- Gaustad was gone. Once deadline day hit, the phones were busy in Hollands office, but the Detroit brass didnt like what they were hearing. Every team was asking for the moon in return for a rent-a-player or a marginal talent who wasnt worth the asking price. Several of Detroits top prospects were off the table, and the Wings were more inclined to part with only draft picks in any deals. They certainly weren't willing to give up high-scoring prospect Teemu Pulkkinen, who every team apparently wanted to acquire. As the day dragged on, some in the Detroit camp became frustrated, even disgusted, by what teams were demanding. The phone would ring, Holland would relay the offer to the assembled hierarchy and virtually every head in the room began shaking no. Pahlsson was still a possibility, and the Wings thought they had a legitimate shot until the Blue Jackets informed them they had been offered two fourth-round picks and young defenseman for the veteran center. Once Pahlsson came off their board -- the Wings felt they didnt have the picks to get him -- a day filled with hope became uneventful and disappointing for Detroit. Whether you agree with how the Wings approached the trade deadline or not, remember that they always said they would tweak their roster, not reshape it. In truth, the Red Wings like their team. They believe they have as good a chance at hoisting the Stanley Cup as any other team. If the Wings don't win it, there's always the free-agency route in the offseason.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jerry Richardson selling Carolina Panthers amid investigation

Roy Williams honored late Pat Summitt during game at Tennessee

Burfict responds to Smith-Schuster's TD celebration

Antonio Brown taken to hospital for further evaluation

Cam Newton offers support for Panthers owner

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Captain Munnerlyn calls benching ‘slap in the face’

Report: Jerry Richardson would ask to shave women’s legs

Twitter reacts to Thomas Davis' dirty hit on Davante Adams

Randall Cobb splits defenders with sick move on catch-and-run TD

Eli Manning's two TDs against Eagles vault Manning family to 1,000 TDs in regular season

Stephen Strasburg says he may skip future All-Star games due to injury concerns

Top takeaways from NFL Week 15

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mr. Jones goes to Washington

The 'It's the most wonderful bowl of the year' quiz

NHL Weekender: Bolts keep striking, Preds on the hunt

Chargers are the AFC team no one wants to play in January

Donald Trump's quotes vs. the sports world in 2017

Five MLB teams that should trade for Manny Machado

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Eight NFL teams who simply need to start over

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mr. Jones goes to Washington

NHL Weekender: Bolts keep striking, Preds on the hunt

The 'It's the most wonderful bowl of the year' quiz

Donald Trump's quotes vs. the sports world in 2017

Chargers are the AFC team no one wants to play in January

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker