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Red Wings demote Gustav Nyquist to make room for Darren Helm

Updated 2x at 11:54 AM: Good sign or bad sign?

The Grand Rapids Griffins are confirming (as are the Red Wings)...


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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Good sign or bad sign?

If it were Abdekader being sent down it would be a good sign.

Posted by Garth on 03/18/13 at 11:29 AM ET

perfection's avatar

yeah, sending down one of our strongest players who’s playing extremely well of late would be a good sign… that totally makes sense Garth. thanks for your daily “Abby sucks” post. Glad it was as out of context and lacking in supporting evidence as ever!

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 03/18/13 at 11:42 AM ET

Crater's avatar

Yes! Super excited. Means hopefully I’ll get a Darren Helm shored red wings for both games @ the Ducks smile

Posted by Crater from SoCal on 03/18/13 at 11:48 AM ET


Glad it was as out of context and lacking in supporting evidence as ever!

Second line minutes.

One empty net goal and two that were banked off of him and an inabliity to bury even the easiest set ups that Datsyuk provided him with.

I guess that doesn’t count as evidence though, because you say he’s one of the best strongest players who has been playing extremely well, even though the sum total of his offensive contributions as a second liner are one empty net goal and two that were banked off of him.

Where was it that I recently read about a bunch of teams taking the Wings’ lead and promoting their fourth liners to the second line so that they can have pucks shot off of them by their skilled players?  Oh yeah.  Nowhere.

Posted by Garth on 03/18/13 at 11:57 AM ET

Lenny's avatar

The point is Garth he had two goals last game didn’t he? I dont care if they went in off his face or his ass they still count on the scoreboard. I hate him on the 2nd line as well, but he has looked better the last few games. Hell Drew Miller looked good on the 1st line over Brunner last game, not saying he should be in that spot but it helped that line wake up as well. Either way the wings need to add a top 6 forward with size and skill.

Posted by Lenny on 03/18/13 at 12:22 PM ET

perfection's avatar

sure Garth, ham-fistedly pretend stats are all that matter now… despite your years of ripping on anyone who cites stats as evidence.

forget that just about everyone who knows anything about hockey… from announcers home and away, to the coaches, the the management, to his teammates, point out how effective Abby is at things you obviously can’t or refuse to appreciate. His tenacity retrieving pucks in the offensive zone has been stellar of late, his screens in front has led to goals that he didn’t receive assists for, his defense is consistently great, he’s hitting hard, he’s hustling, even the goals that deflected off of him, while good puck luck, were caused by his determination in front… all stuff that you obviously don’t see when you watch a hockey game.

It’s pretty sad that Datsyuk himself has had to come out publicly to talk about how simplistically absurd views like yours is and yet, even that’s not good enough. Somehow you think you know hockey better than Dats.

Anyway, we can just continue this discussion after your daily “I hate Abby” post tomorrow. Should I expect it around the same time roughly?

Your streak of having nothing else to talk about is rivaling the Hawks for streak of the year!

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 03/18/13 at 12:23 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

two that were banked off of him

I agree, Holmstrom sucked.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 03/18/13 at 12:37 PM ET

Kate from AZ-made in Detroit's avatar

Abby has been disappointing for a couple of seasons. He is a third or fourth line grinder. Maybe Babbles sees him as the only option right now. I disagree, and, I refuse to believe that there is not a better option.

Datsyuk is simply too professional to make any derogatory comment regarding teammates or decisions made by the coaches.

As far as Homer goes, Homer wasn’t just having pucks banked off of him. He actually deflected in a good portion of most goals he has been credited for. It’s called skill. Yes, he was willing to go into the most dangerous spot on the ice, and block a goaltenders view. No one else has ever done it better. His big beautiful A$$ was always in the picture, but, more of a running joke among the 19 than anything else.

Abby does not possess that ability. He is like a bumper on a pinball table. Datsyuk takes the shot and lights up the Special. I will be so glad when he is off that line and returned to where he belongs.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from AZ-made in Detroit on 03/18/13 at 01:12 PM ET

perfection's avatar

Datsyuk is simply too professional to make any derogatory comment regarding teammates or decisions made by the coaches.

So this is basically what everyone’s new excuse is. You are so bias and blinded by cynicism you can’t even take Datsyuk at his word. OF COURSE he’s not going to make derogatory comments, but he could easily make evasive comments like “the line’s are coaches decision”, etc. But not only does he vigorously endorse Abby’s contributions, but he has emphatically criticized those fans who can’t see the nuances of the game. He even tried to speak in metaphors (the piano) hoping some of you would “get it”.

Babs sure doesn’t hesitate to make derogatory comments about his players. He’ll rip ANY player if they deserve it. Even the stars aren’t immune from his blunt assessments. Yet he has also been highly complimentary of Abby’s efforts of late - even pointing out himself that he sucked at the beginning of the season and is NOT technically a second line player but is filling in due to Bert and Sammy being out. But the fact is, for the last SEVERAL games, Abby has been playing great. You all seem to ignore that playing on the top-6 means you have to play against the other team’s top-6. That is why the Tatar on the second line experiment lasted all of one period. It’s not because he wouldn’t make some awesome plays here and there with Datsyuk - of course he would - it’s that he simply could not hang defensively against the other team’s top players. He was way out of his league. You may not respect defensive consistency as it’s not flashy and doesn’t always show up on the scoresheet, but Abby has been a rock against those guys and is a big reason why we have won some really close games and are hanging on to a playoff spot, despite the losses in personel and to injury.

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a more displaced witch hunt against a Wings player by the fans.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 03/18/13 at 01:58 PM ET

Kate from AZ-made in Detroit's avatar

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a more displaced witch hunt against a Wings player by the fans.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 03/18/13 at 02:58 PM ET

Have you paid attention to one comment here? Fans are upset with Babcock not Datsyuk. Fans are upset with Babcock placing Abby with Datsyuk. Last time I checked it was the Coach that decided what the lines were. Not the players.

As far as the piano comment, I would expect Pavs to be supportive of his line mate in accordance with his respect towards his Team as a whole, and, his unquestionable loyal character.
I have never once suggested trading Datsyuk or made one single comment against my favorite player of all time.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!




Posted by Kate from AZ-made in Detroit on 03/18/13 at 02:33 PM ET

perfection's avatar

I’m really confused how on earth you think I was referring to Datsyuk? The witch hunt is towards ABBY!! He’s playing great and I have to read daily how Garth would totally cut him. And then I spend the rest of the day thankful Garth isn’t our GM.

You can question Abby’s place FILLING IN on the second line all you want (which means ignoring the defensive side of the puck especially if you think Tatar was the answer, ignoring the attempts to maintain a dangerous bottom six, ignoring the fact that Dats and Z were in slumps and simply not finishing until lately, ignoring the fact that we have actually been hanging on to a playoff spot under the worst of conditions) BUT to pretend Abby is this horrible player who doesn’t belong on the team because you don’t like his chemistry with Dats is ridiculous. He’s no Homer of course, but he’s the strongest puck retreiver and net front player on our team right now. Some people (ie Dats and the entire Wings staff) apparently value those skills more than others.

And regarding Dats’ “support” which you simply refuse to take at face value despite him being your “favorite” - there’s tacit support, there’s passive support, and then there’s EMPHATIC support. You’re basically accusing Dats of being disingenuous and blowing smoke up our asses, no matter how emphatically he explains how effective Abby is. You seem to imply that no matter who the player and no matter how they played, Datsyuk would say the exact same stuff to the press. That’s just not true. He of course is going to defend his teammate, no doubt, but again, he’s been going above and beyond to vindicate Abby from fans who clearly are only paying attention to one side of the ice and the stat sheet. Now that Abby’s getting some bounces and showing up on the stat sheet, it’s still not enough. Even goals are being used against him!

Here’s a perfect example of the kind of offensive contribution Abby has been making every shift that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet. Again, you clearly don’t appreciate it, but if you think the team doesn’t genuinely see the value in this, you’re delusional: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kmx-32HszRw

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 03/18/13 at 03:05 PM ET

perfection's avatar

We don’t have to agree, but the results are speaking for themselves.

YES!!! my point exactly. It’s really been awesome to watch Babs coach our team into overachieving this season. With our catastrophic losses in the offseason, the failure to snag Suter and Parise, the lack of a preseason, the terrible PP, and the absurd amounts of games lost to injuries, it is really a testament to Babs’ coaching and the team’s development that we are right in the hunt. Who could have guessed Brunner, Lash, Tatar, and Andersson would step up the way they have? Emmerton’s been quietly brilliant. Quincey, Ericsson, and Kindl have all exceeded expectations. Tootoo has remained gritty while staying on the right side of the line because he’s a Wing now. Yet the fans just can’t handle the utterly predictable drop in our gameplay this season. 

I get that we have all been so spoiled over the years that the hint of adversity or mediocrity is cause for frothing and overreaction, but this season has been one of Babs’ best. We should be one of the worst teams in the West this season but have been floating around 4th or 5th for a good chunk of the season. I still expect we will make the playoffs which will be a huge achievement for this team.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 03/18/13 at 03:15 PM ET

Kate from AZ-made in Detroit's avatar

I’m really confused how on earth you think I was referring to Datsyuk? The witch hunt is towards ABBY!! He’s playing great and I have to read daily how Garth would totally cut him. And then I spend the rest of the day thankful Garth isn’t our GM.

My bad . I thought Datsyuk was the target.  And to be fair I haven’t lambasted Abby. I merely stated how I do not believe he is the only choice or the best choice up on the Datsyuk line. Babcock is the one that I have directed most of the disappointment in. He runs the show. He is responsible for the game plan.

One Cup in eight years.  Not good enough for my liking.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from AZ-made in Detroit on 03/18/13 at 03:46 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.