Friday, November 22, 2013

Nyquist Earns His Spot After Leading Wings to Win

Right now, the happiest guy in Hockeytown must be Gustav Nyquist because Hockeytown is now his home--for good.  After scoring a pair of goals in the Wings' 4-3 win over Carolina yesterday, it was announced by the Red Wings today that Nyquist will be in the lineup tomorrow against Ottawa.

Effectively what this means, for those who don't know, is that Nyquist will be playing his final waiver-exempt game on Saturday.  Detroit will no longer be able to send Gustav back to Grand Rapids without sending him through waivers, where he would immediately get poached by another team.

And if Nyquist is the happiest guy in Hockeytown because of this, the most frustrated would likely be
Wings GM Ken Holland.  As much as Ken assuredly enjoyed the outcome of the match last night, the fact that Nyquist played such a huge role in the victory eliminated pretty much any chance of him sending Nyquist back down with that final waiver-exempt game in hand and not having the fanbase outright lynch him.  After all the excuses and poor mis-managing that kept Gus off the roster, there was no way Holland could deny him after such a flashy season debut.

This of course leads to the next inevitable question: If Nyquist stays, who goes?  Jordin Tootoo and Patrick Eaves have both already been sent to Grand Rapids, but there's still too much cap tied up in contracts when our injuries heal to keep everyone in the big league.  The two that stick out to me are Kyle Quincey on Defense, and Mikael Samuelsson in the Forwards department.  Quincey won't be going anywhere due to Danny DeKeyser's shoulder injury, and Holland won't want to let go of Sammy completely, as that would be an admittance that he made a bone-headed signing when he picked him up to begin with.

Regardless of the name, however, I do feel that the cut HAS to be one of the older role-player type guys (many of you have been screaming Cleary for the last minute, I know) and not our youth.  There isn't a single young forward on this team that doesn't bring something to the table, and to throw that away now would be ridiculous.  Their potential hasn't fully been shown yet, but a guy like Cleary or Samuelsson who has played for years and is still mediocre at best isn't going to surprise you much anymore.

I'm not calling for an Edmonton-esque youth movement, but we have the pieces of a great team, and it's time to cut the dead weight and move on.  If it were you and you could erase one player from the lineup completely, who would you pick? Please feel free to click the comments link at the bottom of the post and tell us who your Wings whipping boy is.