The Detroit Red Wings have agreed to a two year deal with restricted free agent Gustav Nyquist. Nyquist spent the later part of the season in Detroit, after starting the season in Grand Rapids with the Red Wings AHL affiliate.
Nyquist played in 22 games in the regular season, scoring three goals and adding three assists. Nyquist played well for the Wings on the third and fourth line, and is showing improvement. Nyquist played extremely well in the playoffs for Detroit. Nyquist played in all 14 games, scoring two goals and grabbing two assists. Nyquist also returned to Grand Rapids after the Red Wings were knocked out of the playoffs, and helped lead the Griffins to their first Calder Cup.
Nyquist is a prospect the Wings have been excited about for a while now, and he’s showing good improvement, and looks to be well on his way to being a good player for the organization. The Wings have given him the opportunity to play for two more years in the NHL and prove that he is worth a long term investment.
With restricted free agents, Brendan Smith, Joakim Andersson, and Nyquist signed now, the Red Wings can move on to figuring out what they’re going to do with their roster for the coming season. Training camp is around the corner, and the Red Wings have to find a way to get rid of a couple players to shave down the roster.
The Red Wings moved on from Valtteri Filppula and Damien Brunner during free agency, but were able to go out and sign some talent in Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss. The problem now, is that with Darren Helm returning from injury, and all of Detroit’s young players wanting one way contracts, the forward position in Detroit is overflowing.
Detroit currently has 16 forwards on their roster. They sit two players over the roster limit at the moment, so what are they going to do about it? Detroit’s over-abundance of mediocre forwards who excel on the penalty kill isn’t something fans rant and rave about 24/7. Detroit went out and got the scoring they needed, and with resigning the youth in the system, they have to find a way to cut out the aging players that already were seeing limited ice time last season.
Todd Bertuzzi is wearing down, and still has a year left on his contract. Bert only played in 7 games last season due to back problems. Bertuzzi is due $2.175 million this coming season, and that’s going to make it difficult for the Red Wings to move.
Patrick Eaves is an excellent defensive forward. His strong play on the penalty kill, and his ability to back check are great. Eaves is among the large group of third and fourth line players. His little cap hit of $1.2 million could make him a little easier to move, and he could be a useful player for a lot of teams.
Cory Emmerton is another depth forward that Detroit could spare. I would think that Detroit would rather deal off a couple wingers, and keep the depth they have in the face off circle. With Darren Helm’s injury issues, Emmerton could be a valuable asset for the Wings this season. Emmerton has youth on his side, and is a solid penalty killer. He’s not likely to ever blossom into a great offensive threat though.
Mikael Samuelsson is 36 years old, and is due to make $3 million this season. That’s outrageous, and is one of the only contracts the Detroit Red Wings have ever had that made me scratch my head in complete disbelief. Samuelsson only skated in 4 games last season producing one assist. Samuelsson’s contract is going to make him hard to move for the Red Wings.
And last but not least, we come to Jordin Tootoo. Tootoo signed a three year contract with the Red Wings last year, and stepped in to take the job of the enforcer. The Red Wings have been trying to deal Tootoo, and the Predators have expressed interest in bringing him back to Nashville, but nothing has been done just yet. Tootoo’s contract expires after next season. Tootoo would be useful for the Wings going into such a tough division, but with the amount of skill on the team, there might now be any room.
Training camp is coming, and I expect for a trade or two to be coming soon. All eyes are on general manager Ken Holland to see what he can make happen. No matter what moves are made, I think it’s safe to say that the Detroit Red Wings are going to have a strong season, and make a decent push into the playoffs in pursuit of the Stanley Cup.
Topics: Brendan Smith, Cory Emmerton, Damien Brunner, Daniel Alfredsson, Darren Helm, Detroit Red Wings, Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson, Jordin Tootoo, Ken Holland, Mikael Samuelsson, Patrick Eaves, Stephen Weiss, Todd Bertuzzi, Valtteri Filppula