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Nyquist is thrilled for return to Detroit

Swedish forward will skate on line with Zetterberg and Franzen

Thursday, 11.21.2013 / 12:49 PM ET / News
By Andrea Nelson  - Editorial Assistant | DetroitRedWings.com
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Nyquist is thrilled for return to Detroit
Gustav Nyquist appeared in 22 games for the Red Wings in 2013, including 14 playoff contests, recording three goals and three assists. (Photo by Getty Images)

DETROIT – Be patient – it’s all Gustav Nyquist could do as he waited for the call from Detroit.

On Thursday, it finally came.

The Red Wings recalled Nyquist from the Grand Rapids Griffins, welcoming the 24-year-old back to Joe Louis Arena for the Wings’ matchup against Carolina.

“It feels great, obviously, very excited to get in again tonight and it’s going to be a fun game to be a part of,” Nyquist said.

After losing defenseman Danny DeKeyser for 3-6 weeks with a separated shoulder, the Red Wings were able to clear enough cap space to add Nyquist to the roster.

Nyquist appeared in 22 games for the Red Wings during the 2013 season, including 14 playoff contests, recording three goals and three assists during his time with Detroit.

“He was a good player for us last year and a key for us on our second unit power play,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Played real well for us in the playoffs. He’s quick, generates offense, gives us another skilled player to play on our top six, which is real positive for us. We knew all along that we were going to try to get him here, we just financially had to way to do that. It’s great to see him here.”

It’s expected that Nyquist will skate on the second line with center Henrik Zetterberg and power forward Johan Franzen.

Despite his strong performance in the past, Nyquist fell victim to the Red Wings’ salary cap issues and was assigned to Grand Rapids after training camp.

“Of course my goal was to make the team out of training camp and unfortunately I didn’t do that,” he said. “But I couldn’t think about it too much. I can’t stop playing just because I’m down in Grand Rapids. It’s still a great league, like I said before. I got a lot of opportunities to develop down there, be apart of a great team down there. So I’ve been trying to work hard every day and get better.”

And he’s done just that. Through 15 games with the Griffins, Nyquist leads the team and is tied for fourth in the AHL in scoring with seven goals and 14 assists. The Halmstad, Sweden, native was also part of the 2013 Calder Cup championship, recording two goals and five assists in 10 playoff games.

Joakim Andersson skated on a line with Nyquist last season with the Wings and Griffins, and he’s looking forward to seeing his former teammate back in Detroit.

“I talked to him all the time and of course he was disappointed,” Andersson said of Nyquist. “He wants to play here with the Red Wings in the NHL. But he had a great attitude all through the process and now he’s here and he’s happy to be here and we’re happy to have him here again.”

Nyquist joins the Red Wings amidst the team’s seven-game winless streak and eight-game slide at home. Detroit has struggled to find production beyond Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk this season, and hope the young and explosive Nyquist will add a spark to the offense.

“When you look at our group we haven’t scored at all, and so now he helps people score,” Babcock said. “I think that’s a real positive thing.”

Nyquist said, “I’m just going to try to play my game. We all know that we’re in need of a win here as a team and obviously we’ve lost a few in a row up here and at home as well. So that’s something we want to change tonight.”

Tonight might be the only time Nyquist has to make that change. Babcock didn’t give any indicator of how long the forward will be in Detroit, as once Nyquist appears in two NHL games, he must clear waivers before returning to Grand Rapids.

“Well, his job, and no different tonight if I were him, he’s still allowed to go back to the minors,” Babcock said. “He’s so good, tonight you put so much pressure on the coach and the manger that they had to do something about it. That’s what he’s done. That’s the only thing you can do as a player. The best players in the end get to play, they decide who gets to play because they play well enough to make it happen and he’s done a good job.”

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
5 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
6 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
7 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
12 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
15 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 53 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 54 10 27 4 37
T. Tatar 53 16 17 0 33
G. Nyquist 54 14 16 0 30
P. Datsyuk 39 8 21 13 29
J. Abdelkader 54 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 40 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 50 7 8 13 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 21 10 4 .934 1.94
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89