Hollywood couldn’t write a better script. Gustav Nyquist lit the lamp twice in his long-awaited return to the Detroit Red Wings.
On Brendan Shanahan’s ceremony night, it was another #14 that stole the show. Nyquist’s heroics sparked the Red Wings to a 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, snapping the seven-game losing streak. It’s also the first time in eight games that Hockeytown fans can leave the Joe with a win.
The first star of the night, Gustav Nyquist had to wait 22 games before getting recalled to the Wings from Grand Rapids. It only took him 17 seconds to get his first NHL goal of the season. Talk about making a good first impression.
Nyquist then shut the door on the Hurricanes in the 3rd period with a breakaway goal.
Money reasons kept the 24-year-old Swede in Grand Rapids to start the season, but the Wings couldn’t wait any longer to bring him up from the Griffins as the losing streak continued to grow. The signs were pretty obvious that the Wings wanted him back when Jordin Tootoo and Patrick Eaves were placed on waivers. But the cap space wasn’t made available until Danny Dekeyser was placed on the long term injured reserve list with his shoulder injury.
However, when Dekeyser is ready to return to the Wings in 3-4 weeks, someone will need to go. If Nyquist plays in one more game with the Wings it won’t be him. Gus would need to pass through waivers to return to Grand Rapids and there is no way Nyquist would.
This leaves General Manager Ken Holland in a tricky situation. He can either make cap space to keep Nyquist up or send him back down so he doesn’t lose another veteran player. History indicates the Wings will send Nyquist back down because veteran leadership has always been more valuable than youthful speed in Detroit.
But after the performance by Nyquist tonight, can the Red Wings really fall back into old habits and send Gus back to the AHL?
For me the answer is obviously no. Hopefully the Red Wings are on the same page and finally let the goose loose for good.
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