Detroit winger Gustav Nyquist is ready to make his mark on the rest of the league.
Although Gustav Nyquist has yet to put pen to paper with the Red Wings this summer, there is every reason to believe a contract will get done in the near future.
General manager Ken Holland said today that he has spoken with Nyquist's agent a lot in the last two weeks and that the sides are "close."
So what is holding up the deal? There could be a couple of things.
The Wings already are over the $64.3-million salary cap. Besides an eventual deal with Nyquist, the Wings also would like to bring back veteran forward Daniel Cleary, an unrestricted free agent. But they would have to clear cap room through trades to make that happen.
Regardless of “when” Nyquist ends up signing, expect him to be a significant factor in Detroit’s offense this season. Why? Here are a few reasons:
Reason #1 – The Detroit Way
Nyquist has spent two seasons in the AHL with Grand Rapids. He may have already established himself as a regular if he were a member of another organization, but the Wings like to exercise patience with their player development.
Originally drafted 121st overall back in 2008 out of the University of Maine, Nyquist has quietly developed into one of the better forward prospects in hockey. He isn't the biggest, fastest, or strongest player on the ice, but he is very crafty, skilled, and smart. Sound a bit like two current Detroit star forwards? If not, it should. Nyquist plays with the smoothness of Pavel Datsyuk and the sneaky tenacity of Henrik Zetterberg – that isn't to say he will be better than either of them, but his game carries with his aspects of both of Detroit's top two players.
Tell me this doesn’t look like Zetterberg skating up the ice?
Reason #2 – Opportunity
Even if the Wings to re-sign Cleary, Nyquist is the best bet to secure a spot on the second line alongside Stephen Weiss and either Johan Franzen or Daniel Alfredsson. He is more talented than Cleary, and Todd Bertuzzi and Mikael Samuelsson are both huge question marks with their respective injury issues. Nyquist has 73 assists in his two seasons with Grand Rapids, and he is a very talented playmaker who would thrive alongside a shoot-first player like Franzen.
And imagine if he gets any time on the top power play unit with Datsyuk and Zetterberg? The Wings like having a net-front presence there, either Franzen or Justin Abdelkader. But Nyquist brings a skill element to the table that the Wings lack after their two big guns. If he isn’t out there on the top unit, he will play a huge role in anchoring the second power play attack.