With the Red Wings expected to be sellers between now and the trade deadline, winger Gustav Nyquist is likely to come up in trade speculation in the weeks to come. Speaking with Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, the pending UFA acknowledged that the chatter involving him is likely to pick up compared to previous years:
“It’s a business and that’s part of the game. I’m sure my name will pop up. It will be a little bit new situation for me because this is my last year of the contract. It’s different, but it’s nothing I’ve thought about. Probably more as I get closer to the deadline. We’ll see.”
Fortunately for both Nyquist and the Red Wings, the 29-year-old is off to a strong start to his season with a dozen points through the first 14 games which is the second-most on the team. If he can maintain that level of play between now and the deadline, not only will that help his negotiating leverage for the summer as he looks to improve upon his current $4.75MM AAV but it would also help Detroit land another notable asset in their rebuilding process.
Elsewhere around the league:
- Canucks center Elias Pettersson is off to a very strong start to his rookie season with nine goals and six assists through his first nine games. Accordingly, he is quickly becoming a candidate to hit more than just his Schedule ‘A’ bonuses. Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston provides the breakdown of his Schedule ‘B’ bonuses and notes that the full $2MM can be reached by winning any major award other than the Calder Trophy or being top-ten in the league in goals, assists, or points per game. Fortunately for Vancouver, they sit with nearly $6MM in cap space so if Pettersson’s torrid run continues and he hits one of those marks, they will be able to absorb it this season without having to worry about using the bonus cushion to defer it to next year.
- It seems like Rangers defenseman Adam McQuaid will be out longer than expected. Head coach David Quinn acknowledged to reporters, including NHL.com’s Dan Rosen (Twitter link), that the lower-body injury the blueliner is dealing with is different than what they had originally thought. As a result, he has been downgraded from day-to-day to week-to-week. New York does not plan to bring someone up from the minors to take his spot on the roster as Fredrik Claesson (upper body) is nearing a return to the lineup.