The bubble teams always have the toughest decisions at this time of year and the Detroit Red Wings are a perfect example leading up to Wednesday's 3 p.m. ET trade deadline.

Just three points ahead of the danger zone in the Eastern Conference on Thursday morning, the Wings are hardly in the position to be mortgaging the future for any of the big-name rental players.

On the flip side, they've hung in incredibly well in the playoff race despite massive injuries (the latest being Henrik Zetterberg, who's gone at least eight weeks) and if they can ever get healthy enough, who knows what damage they could do in a wide-open Eastern Conference.

So what do you do if you're veteran Red Wings GM Ken Holland?

"The phone lines seem to be heating up," Holland told ESPN.com Thursday. "We would prefer to do a hockey deal. Meaning a player that's on our roster going forward [past this season].

"Unfortunately, we're on the bubble. It's hard to risk that if we miss the playoffs, to trade a high draft pick or a real top prospect for not even a playoff run. At the same time, we feel that the kids that we've got -- Nyquist, Tatar, Sheahan, Jurco -- they have really made a positive impact on our hockey team. Looks like they're going to be around here for a while and they should be getting better."

And there's more coming from AHL Grand Rapids as well. The Wings have done a sensational job of building the base back up without having to finish in the basement of the standings like most organizations do.

So, the delicate balance right now is that the Wings have a shot if they get in, but they also don't want to spend away ridiculous future assets for a short-term fix.