If the Detroit Red Wings fail to make up any major ground on a playoff position in the coming weeks, GM Ken Holland may be forced to move some of his assets before the March 1 trade deadline.
The Red Wings have not missed the playoffs since the 1989-90 season, but they currently sit six points back of third in the Atlantic Division and eight points back of the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Holland has already taken calls on some of his players, one league source told TFP, with winger Thomas Vanek generating much interest.
Vanek, 32, has picked up 10 goals and 17 assists for 27 points in 31 games so far this season.
He signed a one-year contract with Detroit last summer and could be moved to a Stanley Cup contender if the right offer comes along -- and he could also generate a solid return for the Wings.
Forwards Drew Miller and Steve Ott, and defenseman Brendan Smith are also set to become unrestricted free agents July 1 and could be dangled as trade bait.