Detroit Red Wings Rumors: Seeking to exchange Gus Nyquist for top picks

DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 15: Gustav Nyquist #14 of the Detroit Red Wings pounds gloves with teammates on the bench following his third period goal during an NHL game against the Anaheim Ducks at Little Caesars Arena on January 15, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 15: Gustav Nyquist #14 of the Detroit Red Wings pounds gloves with teammates on the bench following his third period goal during an NHL game against the Anaheim Ducks at Little Caesars Arena on January 15, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Ansar Khan of MLive recently reported the Detroit Red Wings would like to get a first-round draft pick for both Gus Nyquist and Jimmy Howard.

This may be asking a bit too much for Nyquist. As good as he has played this season, his contract ends after this season. As Khan notes, he would effectively be nothing more than a rental.  Even if the Detroit Red Wings cannot find a suitor willing to give up a high draft pick, some teams may still express interest.

We have already looked at the Carolina Hurricanes as a possible destination. The following is a list of three teams ready to win now and, for some, maybe push into later rounds of the playoffs. Whether any of those teams can make an acceptable counteroffer is a separate issue. More likely, Gus Nyquist will finish out the season as a Red Wing, and either renegotiate or seek a better contract elsewhere.

Montreal Canadiens The Habs are hovering at the wild card level and are within striking distance of a playoff spot in the Atlantic Division (although they probably cannot catch the Lightning). Nyquist would be an upgrade for them for almost any forward spot; his points total is good for top five on the team right now.

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He would probably qualify for a top-line wing there, possibly eclipsing former familiar face, Tomas Tatar. At age 29, this would make him one of the older members on a young Montreal squad and would probably provide good veteran leadership.

Buffalo Sabres Perennial Atlantic Division bottom-feeders, the Sabres have already shown great improvement this season, climbing out of last place. They are a year or two ahead of the Red Wings in terms of rebuilding and are, as such, neck and neck in the standings. Entering the season, ESPN put the Sabres near the bottom when ranking the depth at the forward position. Gus Nyquist would certainly improve them at the wing.

The Sabres are a prime candidate for willing to spend to acquire some leadership in that department. Any team in the Sabres’ position, however, is not looking to lose a valuable draft slot on an expensive investment, unless they feel they can build the franchise around him.

Anaheim Ducks While the Ducks are probably the least likely of this group to make an offer on Nyquist, there are some curious reasons to throw them into the conversation. For one, they have had an atrocious January. After starting the season 19-11-5, they have been in a precipitous free-fall, dropping twelve straight. Losing breeds desperation, and GM Bob Murray has already shown he is not afraid to make some changes.

Since the struggles began, he has made eight transactions (and counting), including trades and moving players around the farm system. Injuries have hit the Ducks hard this season, and Nyquist has been relatively healthy. This could be another factor, which makes for a more attractive trade.

Again, it is unlikely Gus Nyquist finds himself on a new team this season. The downside for all of these teams is the steep asking price for a short time period. None of them will want to give up such a high draft pick for a few months of work.

Next. Exploring a potential Gustav Nyquist trade. dark

Nyquist comes with a hefty cap hit of nearly $5 million this year; he will likely negotiate for the same or more in his new contract next season. We can hope he will consider giving the Detroit Red Wings a hometown discount this summer.