The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/07/13 at 12:07 PM ET
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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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.