The Columbus Blue Jackets had a bad season. The team still has plenty of talent, enough to climb back into playoff contention next season. During the disappointing 2020-21 campaign the Blue Jackets were with a player who as it turned out was more important than perhaps thought. Gustav (Gus) Nyquist.
Before the season began Gus Nyquist had shoulder surgery for a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Nyquist had been dealing with the injury for the past few seasons. The reason for the surgery was a cyst had grown causing further irritation to the shoulder.
During the COVID shortened 2019-20 season in 70 games played, Gus Nyquist had 15 goals, 42 points with 27 assists. A deeper look shows that with modest numbers that do not necessarily jump off the screen, Nyquist still had tremendous value to the Blue Jackets that are not measured in statistics alone.
Gustav Nyquist is very good at puck battles. He is relentless in pursuit of the puck. Nyquist has a habit of fighting hard for the puck and usually comes away with it. Nyquist also may be the best passer on the Blue Jackets roster. If not the best he is one of them.
This past season, the Columbus Blue Jackets missed Nyquist in those two areas. Puck battles and better passes which lead to better shots. Those are areas the Blue Jackets needed rather badly this past season.
Gus Nyquist was never going to play this season due to recovery time from surgery. Even though he started to skate with the team in March. Next season, one the should see a better one ice product from the Blue Jackets they will have Nyquist back. That will help quite a bit.
The Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen is going to be busy this offseason. He has player such as Seth Jones and Zach Werenski who need new contracts. Kekalainen also needs to find a top center and either sign one as a free agent or trade for one.
If there is one GM up to the task it is Jarmo Kekalainen.
Embed from Getty Images This is what a rebuild looks like. Trading assets to accumulate draft picks and prospects. Last night Red Wings general manager Ken Holland sent Gustav Nyquist to the San Jose Sharks for a 2019 second round draft pick as well as a 2020 third round draft pick that can switch to a second round pick if the Sharks play for the Stanley Cup.
The dismantling of the current Red Wings team has taken another step forward. Ironically the San Jose Sharks were in Detroit yesterday afternoon for a 3:00 pm matinee. The deal did not go down until late last night.
The Sharks needing scoring and wing help made their offer. One problem. Nyquist had a full no-trade clause. Holland had to call and get his permission to waive the clause to make the trade. Nyquist agreed. It is a trade that works out well for both teams.
The Red Wings who’s young players have taken HUGE steps forward this season get to add to an already outstanding prospect pool. While the Sharks get a player who is having a career year.
Gustav Nyquist, 29 years old, has 49 points on the season with 16 goals. He is fast and plays well defensively. Playing in Detroit on an expiring contract at $4.75 million is said to be seeking $5 million per-year when he is set to be a free agent July 1
The trade is not unexpected. Nyquist’s name has been brought up by multiple teams looking for a playoff push. The Sharks being one of those teams. They had they good fortune of being in the Motor City when the deal was reached.
It is not easy losing a good player and an even better person. For the Red Wings who are getting younger, faster and more athletic this trade made total sense. It was a good move by Holland.
The 2019 NHL draft is LOADED! This is the best draft is a long time. Ken Holland (who may or may not be back next season) did well for the team. He gathered more draft picks in a draft that will see NHL ready players into the third round.
One factor is dealing Nyquist is that top Red Wings prospect Filip Zadina made his NHL debut yesterday. Many expected Zadina would replace Nyquist as a starter at some point. Now looking sooner than later.
The future is looking better and better in Motown on the Red Wings front. The team is about ready to begin to make a playoff push as soon as next season. So losses and draft picks are great to help the team win soon.