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February 15, 2017 | 9:50am ET
Wings about to enter full sell mode

The Detroit Red Wings are sitting last in the Eastern Conference and all signs point to them selling as the March 1 trade deadline approaches.

The Wings have a few players who could be on the move, including veteran forwards Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott, and defenseman Brendan Smith, all of whom can become unrestricted free agents July 1.

Red Wings GM Ken Holland acknowledged that he's entering new territory, as his team is set to miss the playoffs for the first time in 26 seasons.

"Certainly, we're in a way more difficult position today than we were a week ago," Holland told mLive's Ansar Khan. "There's about a third of the season to go. Our players and coach, everybody is going to get ready and try to win a game on Wednesday against St. Louis. I'm looking at the standings, but at the same time I'm talking to people and seeing what their needs are.

"I'll work the phones and if something makes sense, we'll do it. But it's not just a matter of me determining I'm going to be a seller because there's got to be a buyer."

Holland admitted that being a seller isn't as easy as some may think, as the market is limited to a select number of teams.

"If you're a seller, you're only selling to about 10-12 teams," he said. "Half the teams might determine they're either going to stand pat or they're a seller as well."

Several teams have expressed interest in Vanek, including the Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks.

According to, the Wings could acquire a second-round draft pick for Vanek, or "some combination of picks and a prospect for him."

"The trade deadline for the most part is rental season," Holland said. "Can there be a 'hockey trade' at the trade deadline? Yeah, but realistically the real hockey trade season is June, when you go to the draft."

The Wings have been dangling the likes of forwards Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurco and Gustav Nyquist, who is facing suspension for his stick-to-the-face of Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon, but as Holland alluded to, any move involving his younger players with term left on their deals will likely occur in the off-season.


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