If the Red Wings don't make a move by Monday's trading deadline, coach Mike Babcock will feel good about his team heading into the playoffs.
But he'll like it better if they acquire a forward for added depth. They might also need another defenseman, after Jonathan Ericsson suffered a fractured wrist in Saturday's 4-3 loss to Colorado at Joe Louis Arena.
At the very least, general manager Ken Holland will be looking to add a forward. He plans to man the phones right up until the 3 p.m. deadline. His main priority is to get a third- or fourth-line forward, preferably someone with size and strength, someone who can add an abrasive dimension.
The Wings aren't going to make a major move, and probably won't even add a top-six forward. They're not prepared to part with any significant roster player, maybe none at all. They also will not trade a top prospect or another first-round pick (they dealt their 2012 first-rounder to Tampa Bay on Feb. 21 for defenseman Kyle Quincey). They are prepared to deal a middling prospect and/or a mid-round pick.
"We're all focused on if we can improve our team," Babcock said. "We want to get healthy up front, but if there's something available to make us better, we'd like to acquire that."
In addition to veteran Chris Conner, the Wings have some promising, young forwards in Grand Rapids (AHL). Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar have offensive skills and Joakim Andersson brings a gritty element. But the club would not be comfortable inserting an inexperienced player into the lineup in the playoffs.
A more pressing concern is their flat play in their past three games (0-2-1). They hope to snap out of it Tuesday at Columbus.
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