It might be earlier for some, but it seems like quite a few general managers are already planning their list ahead of the February 25 trade deadline and while some teams already know what they will be shopping for, other clubs are looking at what they will be putting on the market.
It is the case of the Detroit Red Wings, who have managed to impress and collect a few wins in the last month, which makes it the perfect time for GM Ken Holland to see which player would bring him the best return prior to the trade deadline. While there seems to be the known untouchables in Hockey Town, there is one player that could manage to bring a player, a pick or a prospect the Wings can use in their ongoing retooling process.
In his latest article from The Athletic, Max Bultman considers forward Gustav Nyquist as the Red Wings’ most likely trade option this season. The 29-year-old forward is set to become an unrestricted free agent in July and it makes sense for the Wings to try to get something in return for him. Bultman believes Nyquist could be appealing to most playoff contenders but cautions the Wings are unlikely to get a significant return despite the veteran forward being their best bet.
“This one just makes sense. Nyquist has been really good this year as a playmaker — so good that he’s second on the team in points (15) despite having just two goals. His career-low 4.2 shooting percentage suggests he’s due for positive regression, too, and adding him to a contender would likely surround him with even more weapons. It’s seldom easy to part with a player you drafted and developed into an impact NHLer, but with an expiring contract, it just makes sense to get something in return for the gifted Swedish winger. He could be appealing to almost any contender, though fair warning that a Tomas Tatar-like return would still be wishful thinking.”
Forwards Anthony Mantha and Andreas Athanasiou fall under the “not likely but not impossible” category, while Dylan Larkin, Dennis Cholowski and Michael Rasmussen are stated as the untouchables this year. Bultman also considered pending unrestricted free agents Jimmy Howard and Nick Jensen as possible trade options, however the starting goalie has started contract negotiations with Holland in the recent weeks.
We all know how well Tomas Tatar has turned out in Montreal, after he was flipped from the Red Wings to the Vegas Golden Knights first. He then ended up with the Canadiens in the Max Pacioretty trade before the start of the 2018-19 season.
The same could happen with Nyquisyt…