Everything Else

Continuing our look at the sparse free agent market, we turn to the winger perhaps below the class of Pavelski or Lee, but would be an awfully solid signing, Gustav Nyquist.  And also maybe our most esoteric reference ever. 

Gustav Nyquist

Height: 5-11   Weight: 184 lbs.

Age: 29 (3o on Opening Night)  Shoots: Left

2018-2019 Stats

81 games – 22 G – 38 A – 60 P – 12 PIM

53.1 CF% (+4.9 Relative) 53.0 xGF% (+7.6 Relative)  52.7 ZSR

Why The Hawks Should Sign Him

Because he kind of does a lot. He’s played both sides in his career, and even moonlighted at center in an emergency, but mostly sticks to the right side. At the moment, that’s where the Hawks’ gap in the top six is. He’s not a prolific goal-scorer, but has put up over 20 in four of the past six seasons, and when getting to play on a real team again in San Jose saw his highest goals-per-game rate since 2015, the last time the Wings were even close to worth a shit. Unlike recent additions and whispers, Nyquist can actually move around the ice quickly. He is not defensively inept either, and has driven the play and chances and expected goals at above the team rate every year of his career, which continued in San Jose and it was not easy to be above the team-rate there. He did it with slanted offensive zone starts but not terribly so, and could be a player you’d ask to join say Toews and Saad in taking a fair share of defensive draws but turning the ice over. Toews needs the help, and Nyquist can provide it, which is something Lee’s footspeed and Pavelski’s age make a question. Nyquist also might come in cheaper than the other two, coming off a $4.7M hit and after a 22-goal, 60-point season he probably isn’t going to exceed that by much or at all. If the flexibility for DeBrincat and hopefully Strome next summer is a concern, Nyquist would not interfere with that.

Why The Hawks Shouldn’t Sign Him

First off, age is a question. He will be 30 when the season opens, and as he creeps deeper into that decade and loses a half step or step it’s a wonder how much his game will be affected. I might not care about the next, but the Hawks clearly think size is a problem for them and Nyquist doesn’t do anything about that. If he loses any scoring touch at all, he’s a third-liner at best and you can’t say for sure that he can transition into a full-time checking winger. The Hawks are short another 30-goal guy, as Saad hasn’t proven to be one, and Nyquist isn’t going to be one either. That leaves only Kane, Top Cat, and another Toews renaissance and you might need one more. All of this is question on term. Nyquist also hasn’t ever really killed penalties, so he won’t help there.

Verdict

In truth, Nyquist would be a great signing in addition to a big splash like Lee or Pavelski. Suddenly you’d be swimming in forward depth, counting on a second-line player like Nyquist for third-line scoring. Given his smarts, he’d be a nice compliment to Dach if the latter makes the team. It would depend on what he’s looking for and cost. If you could get Nyquist for just three years and around $4M, he’d be a steal. Having him around until he’s 35 is a risk, and anything about $5M feels a little excessive. He can do a job, but he’s more a support beam than foundational. You could do way worse, though. Like Perry.

Everything Else

@ItWasThreeZero helped us out a couple weeks back with Sharks info. We’re using that again because quite simply we can’t afford the vaccinations it takes to get back where he hangs out. 

Did the Sharks err by not getting a goalie at the deadline? Martin Jones‘s playoff record is stout but this regular season has been awfully bad…
There’s no question that goaltending has been the Sharks’ Achilles heel this season. Frankly it defies logic that the Sharks have the fourth-best record in the league while ranking dead last in both overall and 5v5 SV%. In fairness to Martin Jones (and Aaron Dell), the team adopted a high-risk, high-reward style of play this season that would deflate any goalie’s numbers. System changes alone don’t explain or justify both goalies sporting sub-.900 save percentages in March though. I think the hope, both organizationally and among the fanbase, is that Jones’ playoff numbers will more closely resemble his career average of .912. That’s probably why we didn’t see them make a move at the deadline despite rumors of interest in Ryan Miller. It’s easy to envision how this team, with its elite offense, possession numbers and special teams, could make a Cup run if the goaltending can be anything close to average. But it’s hard to have any confidence in Jones pulling that off at this point.
Did you like the pickups of Nyquist?
Despite having the league’s third-best offense, the Sharks don’t have a Nikita Kucherov or Johnny Gaudreau or even a Mark Scheifele or Filip Forsberg-calibre player up front. In order to have a chance at beating the teams that do have elite forward talent they need to continue to score by committee (led, of course, by huge contributions from Burns and Karlsson on the back end). The addition of Nyquist allows the Sharks to roll out a top nine that features six players on pace for 60 or more points this season plus two others scoring at a 50-point pace. Throw in double digit goal scorers Marcus Sorensen and Melker Karlsson on the fourth line and you have arguably the best forward depth in the league that the addition of Nyquist makes even deeper.
Brent Burns is on track to blow past the 76 points that got him a Norris two years ago. Should he be in contention to get another one?
To the extent that the Norris Trophy just goes to whichever defenseman puts up the most points these days, sure. If we’re talking about whether Burns has been the best overall defenseman in the NHL this year, it’s hard to make that argument. He starts over 70% of his 5v5 shifts in the offensive zone, usually against opposing second and third lines. That’s not a knock on Burns at all – the luxury of having both Karlsson and Burns on the same blueline has allowed Peter DeBoer to deploy him in the kind of specialized offensive role he’s always been best suited for and the results speak for themselves. Burns has unquestionably been a huge part of the Sharks’ success this season but he hasn’t quite had the same all-around impact as defensemen like Mark Giordano or Morgan Rielly who aren’t far behind Burns in terms of production either.
It looks like the Sharks path is going to have to go through Vegas and Calgary to even get to Winnipeg or Nashville. Is that just too daunting for a pretty old team?
It’s a brutal road and underscores the importance of winning the Pacific Division to avoid that 2 vs. 3 matchup, a feat that may be out of the Sharks’ grasp at this point depending on the health of Erik Karlsson. This is, at least on paper, the best roster in franchise history though. And while the Sharks’ average age might be a little high, key players like Karlsson, Hertl, Kane, Couture and Meier are at least theoretically still in their respective primes and it’s not like age has slowed Burns or Pavelski down significantly either. They should be good enough to beat Vegas and Calgary if they can get anything resembling average goaltending. If last year’s Capitals can win the Cup after running the gauntlet of Columbus, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay there’s no reason this Sharks roster can’t pull off a similar achievement.

 

Game #77 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

You know those people that you only see at punk shows? Like you never run into them at the store or on the street? You don’t know where they come from? That’s @ItWasThreeZero. He’s our Sharks guy. 

Did the Sharks err by not getting a goalie at the deadline? Martin Jones‘s playoff record is stout but this regular season has been awfully bad…
There’s no question that goaltending has been the Sharks’ Achilles heel this season. Frankly it defies logic that the Sharks have the fourth-best record in the league while ranking dead last in both overall and 5v5 SV%. In fairness to Martin Jones (and Aaron Dell), the team adopted a high-risk, high-reward style of play this season that would deflate any goalie’s numbers. System changes alone don’t explain or justify both goalies sporting sub-.900 save percentages in March though. I think the hope, both organizationally and among the fanbase, is that Jones’ playoff numbers will more closely resemble his career average of .912. That’s probably why we didn’t see them make a move at the deadline despite rumors of interest in Ryan Miller. It’s easy to envision how this team, with its elite offense, possession numbers and special teams, could make a Cup run if the goaltending can be anything close to average. But it’s hard to have any confidence in Jones pulling that off at this point.
Did you like the pickups of Nyquist?
Despite having the league’s third-best offense, the Sharks don’t have a Nikita Kucherov or Johnny Gaudreau or even a Mark Scheifele or Filip Forsberg-calibre player up front. In order to have a chance at beating the teams that do have elite forward talent they need to continue to score by committee (led, of course, by huge contributions from Burns and Karlsson on the back end). The addition of Nyquist allows the Sharks to roll out a top nine that features six players on pace for 60 or more points this season plus two others scoring at a 50-point pace. Throw in double digit goal scorers Marcus Sorensen and Melker Karlsson on the fourth line and you have arguably the best forward depth in the league that the addition of Nyquist makes even deeper.
Brent Burns is on track to blow past the 76 points that got him a Norris two years ago. Should he be in contention to get another one?
To the extent that the Norris Trophy just goes to whichever defenseman puts up the most points these days, sure. If we’re talking about whether Burns has been the best overall defenseman in the NHL this year, it’s hard to make that argument. He starts over 70% of his 5v5 shifts in the offensive zone, usually against opposing second and third lines. That’s not a knock on Burns at all – the luxury of having both Karlsson and Burns on the same blueline has allowed Peter DeBoer to deploy him in the kind of specialized offensive role he’s always been best suited for and the results speak for themselves. Burns has unquestionably been a huge part of the Sharks’ success this season but he hasn’t quite had the same all-around impact as defensemen like Mark Giordano or Morgan Rielly who aren’t far behind Burns in terms of production either.
It looks like the Sharks path is going to have to go through Vegas and Calgary to even get to Winnipeg or Nashville. Is that just too daunting for a pretty old team?
It’s a brutal road and underscores the importance of winning the Pacific Division to avoid that 2 vs. 3 matchup, a feat that may be out of the Sharks’ grasp at this point depending on the health of Erik Karlsson. This is, at least on paper, the best roster in franchise history though. And while the Sharks’ average age might be a little high, key players like Karlsson, Hertl, Kane, Couture and Meier are at least theoretically still in their respective primes and it’s not like age has slowed Burns or Pavelski down significantly either. They should be good enough to beat Vegas and Calgary if they can get anything resembling average goaltending. If last year’s Capitals can win the Cup after running the gauntlet of Columbus, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay there’s no reason this Sharks roster can’t pull off a similar achievement.

 

Game #66 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

Kyle has been the editor over at WingingItInMotown.com as long as we’ve been doing this, which means he hasn’t gotten any more of a life than we have. And we thank him for that. Follow him on Twitter @KyleWIIM. Anyway, this is the Q&A we did with him like, last week when the Wings were here. 

Well, the Red Wings seem to get how this whole tank/rebuild thing is supposed to go, or at least the Eastern Conference has made it so. How do you feel about where the Wings are?
The Red Wings are two, maybe three players away from being back in the thick of things, I think. They’ve got a decent crop of young talent in the juniors, and a few youngsters starting to make names for themselves in the NHL.
If they can lock up a top-three pick this year, they’ll be in a good spot.. Problem is, they need to work on the books. Too much cap space spent on old players. That hogties them to try and make a splash in the free agent market if there’s a big name out there.
Dylan Larkin‘s switch to center last year was a little itchy. Seems to be going better this time. What’s the difference?
He’s just a special player, and the team has embraced his ability to be the straw that stirs the drink. Putting him with Gustav Nyquist and Tyler Bertuzzi has been a magnificent decision.
Is Yzerman slotting in at GM over the summer fait accompli?
I think so, but it could realistically happen. I comes down to Ken Holland. What’s he going to do? Obviously the organization is happy keeping everyone where they’re at.. So it really comes down to him.
Andreas Athanasiou already has a career high in points and will soon in goals. What’s been the difference for him this year, and does the team still hate him?
Team doesn’t hate him, I think they’ve just been very critical. Again, he’s been put with the right kind of players, and being put in the right situations. For a long time, I think the team believed his best skill was speed, and while it is definitely one of his best abilities, his playmaking ability has really shined this season.
What will the Wings be doing before the deadline?
If I’m a betting man, I’m guessing they stand pat. They’ve got a ton of NTCs to deal with, and it’s just been so gosh damn quiet that I find it difficult to see something happening. Then again, maybe the quietness should hint that something is in the works.
They should really be pushing to sell players like Jimmy Howard, Luke Glendening, and even Gustav Nyquist.

 

Game #61 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

Kyle has been the editor over at WingingItInMotown.com as long as we’ve been doing this, which means he hasn’t gotten any more of a life than we have. And we thank him for that. Follow him on Twitter @KyleWIIM.

Well, the Red Wings seem to get how this whole tank/rebuild thing is supposed to go, or at least the Eastern Conference has made it so. How do you feel about where the Wings are?
The Red Wings are two, maybe three players away from being back in the thick of things, I think. They’ve got a decent crop of young talent in the juniors, and a few youngsters starting to make names for themselves in the NHL.
If they can lock up a top-three pick this year, they’ll be in a good spot.. Problem is, they need to work on the books. Too much cap space spent on old players. That hogties them to try and make a splash in the free agent market if there’s a big name out there.
Dylan Larkin’s switch to center last year was a little itchy. Seems to be going better this time. What’s the difference?
He’s just a special player, and the team has embraced his ability to be the straw that stirs the drink. Putting him with Gustav Nyquist and Tyler Bertuzzi has been a magnificent decision.
Is Yzerman slotting in at GM over the summer fait accompli?
I think so, but it could realistically happen. I comes down to Ken Holland. What’s he going to do? Obviously the organization is happy keeping everyone where they’re at.. So it really comes down to him.
Andreas Athanasiou already has a career high in points and will soon in goals. What’s been the difference for him this year, and does the team still hate him?
Team doesn’t hate him, I think they’ve just been very critical. Again, he’s been put with the right kind of players, and being put in the right situations. For a long time, I think the team believed his best skill was speed, and while it is definitely one of his best abilities, his playmaking ability has really shined this season.
What will the Wings be doing before the deadline?
If I’m a betting man, I’m guessing they stand pat. They’ve got a ton of NTCs to deal with, and it’s just been so gosh damn quiet that I find it difficult to see something happening. Then again, maybe the quietness should hint that something is in the works.
They should really be pushing to sell players like Jimmy Howard, Luke Glendening, and even Gustav Nyquist.

 

Game #56 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

Not that much has changed since the Hawks laid an egg against the Wings 10 days ago. So here’s what we asked JJ From Kansas then.  You can follow him on Twitter @JJFromKansas and read his work on WingingItFromMowtown.com, if you really feel the need to mentally injure yourself. 

Let’s start here: The Wings are a capped out team, and they aren’t any good. While they lose Mike Green’s salary after the season, Dylan Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou, and Anthony Mantha all need new contracts after the year. So basically… why does Ken Holland still have a job?
Ken Holland still has a job for the same reason Stan Bowman will still be with the Hawks through iteration #4 of “We just need this NEW large pile of also-ran nobodies to give overwhelming value on their low-cost deals because we can’t afford to fit the proper supporting players under the weight of the contracts for Kane, Toews, and Brent Seabrook.” Winning cups buys a lot more leeway than it ought to, even as we approach the end of the 10th year since Holland’s crew last lifted one. Fortunately, the increases to the cap and the other deals falling off should make more than enough space for Larkin and Mantha (with the hope they come to their senses on Athanasiou and don’t end up trading him), but yeah it shouldn’t be Ken Holland’s ring-heavy hand pushing those deals across the table to the only reasons to tune in and watch Detroit these days.
Dylan Larkin had 23 goals his rookie year. That dropped to 17 last year with the move to the middle. He’s only got six so far this year. What’s the deal?
Eh, I’m not so worried about Dylan Larkin the goalscorer as long as he continues to be Dylan Larkin the growing-up capable two-way playmaking center. The 23-goal rookie season was a lot of him being fed by Henrik Zetterberg and defenders not having enough of a concept of how quick he can turn a corner on you. The 17-goal output last season taught him that defenses adjust to one-trick ponies really well. He’s currently on pace to put up 23 more points than in his rookie season and, while I’d like it more of them were goals just because goals are more fun to watch than assists, I can rest well knowing he’s playing better now than he has at any other point in his still very-young NHL career.
Will the Red Wings trade Mike Green, and possibly Gustav Nyquist, before the deadline?
Mike Green seems like such a no-brainer trade that it makes me irrationally angry thinking about how it’s still entirely possible the team holds onto him for some dumb reason. Bob McKenzie seems pretty confident Holland won’t do the dumb thing and hold onto Green, but I need to see it before I can relax. I don’t think Nyquist moving is all that likely though. He had his NTC kick in this year and there really hasn’t been a lot of chatter about moving him out, even though the team absolutely ought to be doing that. Honesty, it might surprise me less if they traded away newly-signed Tomas Tatar this season before his no-trade clause kicks in over the summer.
They wouldn’t really get rid of Athanasiou either during this season or in the summer, would they?
This team once gave up a first-round pick for Kyle Quincey.
 
What gives you hope about where the Wings might be in two or three years?
There’s already a lot of promise in Larkin and Mantha with more promise to come. While the team doesn’t have that real franchise cornerstone piece, it seems the organization has finally gotten the hint that they’re not going to get two of those out of the 6th and 7th round again and that they haven’t yet re-upped Ken Holland to another deal. The rest of Detroit’s division outside of Tampa and Toronto is also wheel-spinning stuck-in-the-mud trash, so that should give them plenty of opportunity to gain traction first and get back to those actually-useful trips to the postseason where you can come out of losses saying at least the kids who are going to lead us in the future learned something valuable. I’m just not sure that two or three years is the realistic timeline for this kind of optimism though. Maybe three or four?

Game #45 Preview

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

 

Game #49 Preview

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built 

Everything Else

For ten seasons now, when we’ve needed Red Wings info, we’ve been forced to travel to a local swamp and rap on the door of a dilapidated shack where social outcast and deranged gnome JJ From Kansas lives. You can follow him on Twitter @JJFromKansas and read his work on WingingItFromMowtown.com, if you really feel the need to mentally injure yourself. 

Let’s start here: The Wings are a capped out team, and they aren’t any good. While they lose Mike Green’s salary after the season, Dylan Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou, and Anthony Mantha all need new contracts after the year. So basically… why does Ken Holland still have a job?
Ken Holland still has a job for the same reason Stan Bowman will still be with the Hawks through iteration #4 of “We just need this NEW large pile of also-ran nobodies to give overwhelming value on their low-cost deals because we can’t afford to fit the proper supporting players under the weight of the contracts for Kane, Toews, and Brent Seabrook.” Winning cups buys a lot more leeway than it ought to, even as we approach the end of the 10th year since Holland’s crew last lifted one. Fortunately, the increases to the cap and the other deals falling off should make more than enough space for Larkin and Mantha (with the hope they come to their senses on Athanasiou and don’t end up trading him), but yeah it shouldn’t be Ken Holland’s ring-heavy hand pushing those deals across the table to the only reasons to tune in and watch Detroit these days.
Dylan Larkin had 23 goals his rookie year. That dropped to 17 last year with the move to the middle. He’s only got six so far this year. What’s the deal?
Eh, I’m not so worried about Dylan Larkin the goalscorer as long as he continues to be Dylan Larkin the growing-up capable two-way playmaking center. The 23-goal rookie season was a lot of him being fed by Henrik Zetterberg and defenders not having enough of a concept of how quick he can turn a corner on you. The 17-goal output last season taught him that defenses adjust to one-trick ponies really well. He’s currently on pace to put up 23 more points than in his rookie season and, while I’d like it more of them were goals just because goals are more fun to watch than assists, I can rest well knowing he’s playing better now than he has at any other point in his still very-young NHL career.
Will the Red Wings trade Mike Green, and possibly Gustav Nyquist, before the deadline?
Mike Green seems like such a no-brainer trade that it makes me irrationally angry thinking about how it’s still entirely possible the team holds onto him for some dumb reason. Bob McKenzie seems pretty confident Holland won’t do the dumb thing and hold onto Green, but I need to see it before I can relax. I don’t think Nyquist moving is all that likely though. He had his NTC kick in this year and there really hasn’t been a lot of chatter about moving him out, even though the team absolutely ought to be doing that. Honesty, it might surprise me less if they traded away newly-signed Tomas Tatar this season before his no-trade clause kicks in over the summer.
They wouldn’t really get rid of Athanasiou either during this season or in the summer, would they?
This team once gave up a first-round pick for Kyle Quincey.
 
What gives you hope about where the Wings might be in two or three years?
There’s already a lot of promise in Larkin and Mantha with more promise to come. While the team doesn’t have that real franchise cornerstone piece, it seems the organization has finally gotten the hint that they’re not going to get two of those out of the 6th and 7th round again and that they haven’t yet re-upped Ken Holland to another deal. The rest of Detroit’s division outside of Tampa and Toronto is also wheel-spinning stuck-in-the-mud trash, so that should give them plenty of opportunity to gain traction first and get back to those actually-useful trips to the postseason where you can come out of losses saying at least the kids who are going to lead us in the future learned something valuable. I’m just not sure that two or three years is the realistic timeline for this kind of optimism though. Maybe three or four?

Game #45 Preview

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

I’ll let you in on a little secret. There was a massive brawl here at the Lab over who got to do the Detroit Red Wings preview. After all the shit we had to eat for a decade or more from this Packers fanbase-gone-wrong, and even with all the depression daily life brings these days, the fact that the Wings have cast themselves into hockey oblivion/purgatory will keep the blood pumping through my veins for much longer than logic would suggest. It’s not just that they’re bad. They can’t even be bad correctly. This is a team that desperately needs to bottom out, after all they don’t even have a doddering old owner to placate anymore, and yet is chasing one of its few promising young players off to Russia. Sometimes I still wake up giggling that all the players that every pundit like Pierre McGuire promised us were the “next generation” simply because they were Wings basically amounted to two shooting-percentage spike seasons from Gustav Nyquist. Now everyone is seeing that Ken Holland might just have gotten lucky with a couple late round picks and a completely open checkbook from Mike Illitch when there was no cap. And people, it’s replacing oxygen as my life force. Let’s do this:

Detroit Red Wings

2016-2017 Record: 33-36-13  70 points  7th in the Flortheast which meant…

THEIR BULLSHIT PLAYOFF STREAK THEY HAD TO FLEE TO THE EAST TO KEEP GOING IS DEAD AND EVERY ANALYST IN THE NHL HAD TO CUT THEMSELVES LIVE ON AIR! JUST HOOK IT TO MY FUCKING VEINS!

Team Stats 5v5: 48.2 CF%  (24th)  48.3 SF% (24th)  48.9 SCF% (20th)  7.8 SH% (12th)  91.7 SV% (24th)  15.0 PP% (27th)  80.8 PK% (16th)

Everything Else

We’re getting into silly season now. We’re 34 days away from the deadline, and with the Hawks having their “bye week” in the middle of it soon, we know the chatter is going to heat up. There have been names already being tossed around, except almost all of them would be a complete waste of time. So let’s toss out a few players that aren’t going to do anything for anyone before we get to ones that could actually help.

Jarome Iginla – Old, slow, not good anymore, and would be too heartbreaking if it didn’t work.

Patrick Sharp – Will be out for the season if he encounters a stiff breeze, also stationary, and still small matter that most of the dressing room still hates his guts.

Shane Doan – Seriously?

All right, now that’s over, we can get on to something a little more substantial.