The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/18/13 at 10:02 AM ET
Updated 2x at 11:54 AM: Good sign or bad sign?
The Grand Rapids Griffins are confirming (as are the Red Wings)...
NYQUIST REJOINS GRIFFINS
The Detroit Red Wings have reassigned right wing Gustav Nyquist to the Grand Rapids Griffins.
A native of Halmstad, Sweden, Nyquist still leads the AHL with 60 points (23-37—60) in 57 games, despite missing the Griffins’ last three contests after being recalled by Detroit last Tuesday. The 23-year-old forward recorded one assist and seven shots in four games with the Red Wings this season and has eight points (1-7—8) in 22 career NHL games.
Detroit’s third choice (121st overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Nyquist has racked up 122 points (46-76—122) in 121 career games with the Griffins. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound right wing shows 15 points (6-9—5) in his last nine games with Grand Rapids (Feb. 22-March 10).
The Griffins will conclude a three-game road trip with a rematch against Peoria on Tuesday at 8:05 p.m., after falling to the Rivermen 3-2 in overtime on Sunday. Grand Rapids will play a home-and-home series against Lake Erie this weekend, hosting the Monsters on Friday at 7 p.m. before visiting Cleveland on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for Friday’s game are available at griffinshockey.com.
And MLive''s Ansar Khan says that Nyquist's demotion was inevitable:
"He's skating today and tomorrow and after two days of practice I'd assume it's a Wednesday morning decision,'' general manager Ken Holland said.
Helm has appeared in only one game (Jan. 25 vs. Minnesota) due to a back injury (slight tear in disc) suffered three days before training camp.
"If Helm is in the lineup, great. If not, we'll reassess Thursday and might bring back Nyquist for the California trip (four games, starting in Anaheim Friday),'' Holland said.
The Red Wings would have sent down Nyquist today whether or not Helm was close to returning.
"(Coach Mike Babcock) will use the same 12 forwards Wednesday if Helm can't go,'' Holland said. "Why keep Nyquist as a healthy scratch? Grand Rapids has a game on Tuesday.''
The club had recalled Nyquist last Tuesday for its three-game trip to Western Canada. He played in the first two games, picking up one assist, and was scratched Saturday in Vancouver. He has appeared in four games for the Red Wings this season (no goals, one assist). Nyquist, 23, is leading the AHL in scoring with 60 points (23 goals, 37 assists) in 57 games.
Holland said t he club anticipates an update on defenseman Kyle Quincey later today, after he sees the team doctor. Quincey suffered a fractured left cheek bone when hit by a puck last Friday in Edmonton and might require surgery.
Update: Khan also ponders whether the Wings will make a pitch for Edmonton Oilers defenseman Ladislav Smid, and, via RedWingsFeed, Michigan Hockey named Justin Abdelkader its "Michi-Gamer of the Week."
Update #2: The Windsor Star's Bob Duff posted some quips and quotes from Nyquist that were probably recorded a while ago, but they're still quite pertinent:
Returned to Grand Rapids Monday by the Red Wings, Nyquist believes there’s still much that he can learn at the AHL level.
“It’s still a good league, I think,” Nyquist said. “If you look at the players down there you know there are a lot of players going up and down to the NHL all of the time. So there is a great amount of good players down there and it’s still a league that you can improve and learn the systems a little bit better.”
Nyquist has sought to improve the areas of his game that the Wings have asked him to work on while in the minor leagues.
“This year I think I’m starting to shoot the puck a little bit more,” he said. “I’ve tried to work on that and go to the net a little bit harder. I think I’ve scored a few more goals this year than I did last year down there.
“I’ve always been a guy who’s been a pass-first guy and I think down in the AHL I can create a lot more chances.”
Even though he was in the NHL for a week, Nyquist still leads the AHL in scoring with 23-37-60 totals. He could become the fourth Red Wings farmhand to lead the AHL scoring race, following in the footsteps of Tim Taylor (1993-94 Adirondack), Les Douglas (1945-46 Indianapolis) and Don Deacon (1938-39 Pittsburgh).
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