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Sipple checks in with Ken Holland regarding the Red Wings’ attempts to re-sign Gustav Nyquist

On the heels of the Red Wings' re-signing of Joakim Andersson, the Free Press's George Sipple asked Red Wings GM Ken Holland for a status update regarding the status of the Wings' last restricted free agent, Gustav Nyquist:

The Wings agreed on a two-year, $1.465-million contract with forward Joakim Andersson on Tuesday. Now, they’re likely seeking a one- or two-year deal with forward Gustav Nyquist.

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.

I still don't get the Cleary thing. The team would both need to clear cap and roster space to re-sign Cleary, and Cleary would have to take a huge discount to return.

The Wings also could be aiming at a one-year deal for Nyquist, with Nyquist’s camp wanting two.

Nyquist has been a proven offensive player at every level except the NHL. He led all NCAA Division I players in scoring as a sophomore at Maine with 61 points in 2009-10. He averaged more than a point per game in the American Hockey League the past two seasons. He had 22 goals and 36 assists for 58 points in 56 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins in 2011-12. Last season, he had 23 goals and 37 assists for 60 points in 58 games.

But Nyquist hasn’t had the same impact in the NHL. He has four goals and nine assists for 13 points in 40 career NHL games. He had three goals and three assists for six points in 22 regular-season games with the Wings last season. He also had two goals and three assists in 14 playoff games.

Nyquist, like Andersson, doesn't have much leverage in terms of earning a significant payday, but his "upside" is obviously higher than Andersson's. My bet is that he inks a 2-year deal at a moderate salary--mostly given that Smith and Andersson already did just that.

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WingedRider's avatar

The Wings also could be aiming at a one-year deal for Nyquist, with Nyquist’s camp wanting two.

I would have thought it would be the other way around.  That is why I am not A GM, LOL

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 08/07/13 at 12:57 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Ditto. I’d think that Nyquist would be much, much more interested in a one-year deal.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 08/07/13 at 01:07 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

I would have thought it would be the other way around.  That is why I am not A GM, LOL
Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 08/07/13 at 01:57 PM ET

The only thing I can think of is that after this year, several Wing forwards become free agents (Bert, Sammi. Alfie, Eaves, + RFAs) and that his agent believes in year 2 of the contract he’ll have a bigger role and more chance to show off his talents, possibly in the top 6, bumping up his value for the next contract.

But that may be overthinking it.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 08/07/13 at 01:22 PM ET


Is there any basis for the idea that the Wings want one year for Nyquist or that they’re still trying to sign Cleary?

Wanting a one-year deal fo Nyquist is baffling, and the fact that they appear not too be in much of a hurry to shed the roster spots they already need to in order to have room for Nyquist doesn’t seem like they’re all that interested in adding anyone else…

Posted by Garth on 08/07/13 at 01:50 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

When will Nyquist be eligible for UFA status?  That could be a factor as well.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 08/07/13 at 03:45 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

A lot of the goals Nyquist has scored have been a thing of beauty.  I don’t see where there is any doubt he’ll be a point producer.  He’s shown plenty of patience with the puck around the net.  It’s just a matter of getting more ice time with offencive linemates.  I think Nyquist and his agent have to understand everybody is feeling the salary cap crunch this time around.  Signing a 2 year deal at a relatively reasonable salary would take care of 3 birds at once.

It would be a sign of good faith towards KH and the team… It would make things a bit easier on KH as far as salary cap issues going forward… it would also give him a 2 year time window to prove himself on the NHL level.

If that makes too much sense and he doesn’t accept it then tell him he can go move in with Brunner.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 08/07/13 at 04:36 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

When will Nyquist be eligible for UFA status?  That could be a factor as well.

Four years.  He turns 27 in September of 2016, but the applicable cut-off for UFA eligibility in any league year here is June 30, so he’s not eligible to become a UFA until June 30th, 2017.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/07/13 at 04:42 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I should add that the age 27 cutoff is the applicable one here because there’s no way he can accrue seven professional seasons before the age-based cutoff hits. If he had left the University of Maine two seasons earlier, he’d only be 3 shy of making UFA.

Of course, he might not be the same player now if he had done that, but it’s an important distinction.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/07/13 at 04:53 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.


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