Red Wings Re-sign Nyquist

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Friday the signing of forward Gustav Nyquist to a four-year contract. As per club policy, financial terms were not announced. Reportedly the contract is worth $19 million, carrying a $4.75 million cap hit.

Nyquist was a restricted free agent who had opted for arbitration. He and the Red Wings continued negotiating leading up to the arbitration hearing – which would have been in late July or early August – and came to terms on the new deal.

Nyquist, 25, has led the Red Wings in goals each of the last two seasons. In 179 career NHL games he has 59 goals and 56 assists for 115 career points.

Originally drafted in the fourth round, 121st overall, in 2008, Nyquist has spent his entire career with Detroit.

With Nyquist locked up, Detroit’s remaining free agents are RFAs Tomas Jurco and Teemu Pulkkinen, with Nick Jensen, Louis-Marc Aubry, and Mitch Callahan of Grand Rapids also due extensions.

Red Wings Logjam Won’t Get Better On Its Own

Xavier Ouellet is back in Grand Rapids and Mattias Backman has returned to Sweden. For the time being, the Red Wings’ logjam on the blue line is resolved. Seven defensemen in Detroit, seven with the Griffins (Scott Czarnowscan was called up from Toledo when Ouellet was brought to Detroit).

That the Red Wings aren’t icing the best lineup they can right now is irrelevant. That one of their prospects is now disgruntled is as well. There is now a spot for everyone, that’s all that matters, fixing it is a problem for the future.

So let’s look at that future.

We’ll assume that the Red Wings don’t trade anyone (because they haven’t yet) and sign all of their restricted free agents. We’ll also assume that the Griffins bring back Nathan Paetsch and Brennan Evans because they’re a couple of blue line leaders in GR. None of the unrestricted free agents return.

That means that Niklas Kronwall is back. And Jonathan Ericsson. And Kyle Quincey. And Danny DeKeyser, and Brendan Smith, and Jakub Kindl, and Brian Lashoff. Ouellet and Ryan Sproul and Alexey Marchenko and Nick Jensen. Evans and Paetsch and Backman. Richard Nedomlel, currently in Toledo.

Joe Hicketts, who just made the Canadian World Junior team? He’s probably turning pro. Marc McNulty? Mitch Wheaton? Ben Marshall? James DeHaas? Not under contract yet but very well could be by next year.

The Red Wings have zero unrestricted free agents on defense next summer. Their two RFAs are Smith and Jensen, both of whom will return. In short, there are exactly as many roster spots available throughout the organization next year as there are right now. And in all likelihood there will be even more players fighting for them.

Without the Red Wings making a trade – dumping one or more players – their current roster crunch isn’t getting any better until at least the summer of 2016. That’s one more full season before there’s even a roster spot in Detroit available, which means another full season before there’s even a spot in Grand Rapids available, which means the Wings are dumping their prospects straight to the Walleye.

Or back to Sweden, in the case of Backman, ’cause why should he stick around for that?


I’ve been among the crowd clamoring for the exit of Jakub Kindl (and, to a lesser extent, Brian Lashoff) as a means to clear up the logjam. At varying points the Red Wings have said they’re trying to move Kindl but just how hard they’re trying is up for debate, as the Carolina Hurricanes just managed to get a sixth round pick back for Jay Harrison while Kindl remains in Detroit.

I see three possibilities: The Red Wings see value in Kindl and want a return that reflects that. Teams are interested in Kindl but not given his current contract. No one is interested in Kindl.

All three of these reflect poorly on Detroit.

If the Wings want more for Kindl than anyone is willing to give, then they’re overvaluing him and are no better than the Buffalo Sabres asking for Anthony Mantha for Tyler Myers. This is an addition by subtraction move, stop worrying about the return.

If the contract is the issue, it means the Red Wings gave him a contract that no one else would have.

If no one is interested, then Detroit continues to employ a player that no other team wants.

2013 Red Wings Jersey Number Wrap-Up

I’ve already touched on the sweater numbers worn by the Red Wings at their development camp in July and the fact that Joakim Andersson has (as expected) switched from #63 to #18. Since the full training camp roster is now out, I’ll take a look at some of the remaining numbers.

With Daniel Cleary accepting a PTO from the Flyers (with a three-year deal on the way as soon as they can clear the cap space by putting Chris Pronger on LTIR), there’s no conflict as Daniel Alfredsson takes #11.

Griffins defenseman Brennan Evans, having lost the #3 he wore in January’s Red and White Game to Nick Jensen, takes the departed Valtteri Filppula‘s #51. Similarly, Nathan Paetsch drops from #71 to the #24 vacated by Damien Brunner and Triston Grant takes the #28 that formerly belonged to Carlo Colaiacovo. Grand Rapids captain Jeff Hoggan goes from #73 (now assigned to Griffins’ forward David McIntyre) to the #81 worn in the development camp by Mattias Janmark.

Calle Jarnkrok gets the #70 that was worn in development camp by free-agent tryout Jaimen Yakubowski. McIntyre’s #73 came from try-out Brody Silk. Teemu Pulkkinen gets #56.

Free agent try-out Michal Plutner gets the #75 worn by James de Haas in July while try-out Cam Lanigan gets the #68 that was worn by Jake Patterson.

As per usual, most of these changes mean nothing as they relate to players not under contract with Detroit. The Red Wings do have a tendency to give players acquired in midseason the number of someone already in the organization, as those jerseys are already made up, but given the cap space this year Detroit is unlikely to be making any big deals.

Red Wings’ 2013 Development Camp Sweater Number Stuff

As I’ve mentioned every summer for the past few years, I love it when the Red Wings’ training camp rosters come out and we get to see who will be wearing what number. I’m a geek about sweater numbers (as seen with yesterday’s post on how to get Alfredsson into #11) so that’s fun to me.

With today’s release of the jersey numbers for Detroit’s 2013 Development Camp, we can get a look at some of the changes soon to come. Last year we were told that development camp numbers meant nothing but only Luke Glendening (who was on a tryout at the time of the development camp) switched between camp and the Red & White Game in January, so I think it’s safe to use these numbers as indicators.

Of immediate note, the recently-signed Glendening has moved from the #72 he wore in camp and the #65 he wore in the Red & White Game (now taken by Danny DeKeyser) to #21. That number had been assigned to Tomas Tatar, so the fact that Glendening has it now seems to validate the report that he’d requested a switch to #90.

Similarly, Phillippe Hudon has been given #63 (he wore #61 last year), which wouldn’t be available if Joakim Andersson were not switching. I’d been expecting Andersson to take #18 as soon as it became available, which is the case with Ian White no longer on the team.

It’s worth noting that no number changes were expected for goalies Petr Mrazek and Tom McCollum but Mrazek’s #34 was assigned to free agent Andrew D’Agostini and McCollum’s #38 went to tryout Toni Eskelinen.
It would appear that Tomas Jurco will not be switching back to #28 now that it has been made available by Carlo Colaiacovo‘s buyout as it’s been assigned to free agent invitee Trevor Hamilton. Other numbers that had been assigned to a player last year include Jan Mursak‘s #39 (given to first-round draft pick Anthony Mantha), Kent Huskins‘ #3 (given to Nick Jensen) and Joey MacDonald‘s #31 (free agent signing Jared Coreau).
The only player keeping the same number from last year’s camp is Marek Tvrdon, who holds on to #60.

The changes from last year are as follows (excluding free agent invitees who are returning):

Player Name Old Num. New Num.
Andreas Athanasiou 76 72
Rasmus Bodin 75 67
Martin Frk 48 42
James De Haas 74 75
Nick Jensen 71 3
Richard Nedomlel 3 77
Xavier Ouellet 54 61
Ryan Sproul 22 48

The final switch is a humorous one. Red Wings’ goaltending prospect Jake Paterson switches to the #36 previously assigned to goalie Jordan Pearce, while the #68 he wore last year will be assigned to free agent tryout goalie Jake Patterson (that number was worn by Chad Billins, now in the Calgary Flames organization, during the Red & White Game).

Numbers for players marking their first appearance at the development camp are as follows:

Player Name Number
Tyler Bertuzzi 59
Mattias Janmark 81
Alexei Marchenko 47
Hampus Melen 83
Marc McNulty 74
Zach Nastasiuk 62
David Pope 64

Bertuzzi’s #59 had previously been assigned to Francis Pare, who signed with TPS of Finland today as an unrestricted free agent.

Update, 11:25 PM: The Left Wing Lock’s Sarah Lindenau Tweeted the following regarding the numbers assigned during the Wings’ development camp:

As I said at the top, we were told last year that the development camp numbers meant nothing. That was a season that saw Brian Lashoff switch from #25 to #23 and Martin Frk assigned the #48 that had been worn the prior season by Cory Emmerton. Weeks later, Emmerton’s switch from #48 to #25 was announced.

Clearly some of these numbers mean nothing. I would be shocked if Zach Nastasiuk ever wears #62 in a regular season game for Detroit (or if he’s even wearing it in the next camp). Similarly, I don’t expect Andreas Athanasiou to wear any number in the 70s if/when he cracks the lineup.

Whether intentional or not, the trend for the Wings is that players wearing numbers in the 50s or higher are the guys not expected to crack the lineup that year and they wear numbers that may be randomly assigned. The lower your number gets the more likely you are of a call-up, until you’re actually assigned a “real” number.

In his first camp, Tomas Tatar wore #72. The next year, when he was in line for a call-up during the season, he was down to #21. Landon Ferraro wore #57 in his first camp and was down to #41 last year. We’ll see what number he actually wears if and when he ever makes his debut.

In the time that I’ve been watching the camp numbers, no prospect has ever been assigned the number of a player already on the Red Wings’ roster. Much like Frk getting #48 last year was a sign of Emmerton’s upcoming switch, I think #21 and #63 being assigned makes it safe to say Tatar and Joakim Andersson will be getting new numbers next year. No, I don’t know it for certain, it would just follow the trend. A prospect being assigned the number of a roster player seems to mean something.

Perhaps #34 and #38 were given out because those numbers went to free agents who won’t be back for the main camp, when Petr Mrazek and Tom McCollum return. Or maybe McCollum will finally take the #33 he wore in junior. Those two we’ll have to wait to see.