According to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, the Toronto Maple Leafs are likely to trade Cody Franson prior to the March 2 deadline and the Edmonton Oilers are likely to deal Jeff Petry.
According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Washington Capitals are likely to do the same with Mike Green.
What do Franson, Petry and Green all have in common?
All three are right-shooting defensemen.
And what team has been talking for what seems like forever about adding a right-shooting defenseman?
That would be the Detroit Red Wings, who only have one of those on their active roster — rookie Alexey Marchenko, .
“We knew he’d (be) here eventually,” said coach Mike Babcock of Marchenko, per the Detroit News. “He’s a steady, big man, right-hand shot, who knows how to play without the puck.”
But Marchenko is still in the audition stage. And even if he passes, Babcock would probably prefer another righty or two anyway.
“I just think it’s so much easier when you have a right and lefty on every pair,” he said in June. “All you got to do is look at L.A. (Stanley Cup champion Kings), a right and lefty on every pair. Makes it easier to get through the neutral zone, easier off D-zone faceoffs to execute. You have the puck more. You can get it off the wall and shoot it in the offensive zone. To me it just makes sense.”
Which also makes you wonder if the Kings, without right-shooting Slava Voynov indefinitely, will take a run at Franson, Petry or Green.
As for the Wings, the argument against adding one of those three, or some other righty D, is that the Wings are doing just fine the way they are, so why give up an asset to make a change?
That’s for GM Ken Holland to decide.
Franson, Petry and Green are all pending unrestricted free agents.