Over the weekend, it was reported during Hockey Night in Canada’s “Headlines” segment that the Detroit Red Wings have officially asked forward and top trade chip Gustav Nyquist for a list of teams that he would be willing to accept a trade to.
Chris Johnston reporting on HNIC intermission that the #RedWings have asked Gustav Nyquist for a list of teams he would accept a trade to.
— Stefan Kubus (@StefanKubus) February 17, 2019
Nyquist does have a full no-trade clause, so he’s in full control of his future – whether that’s in Detroit or not.
Of course, this could be just a formality. It’s entirely possible that the two sides agree on a contract extension prior to the trade deadline. But if Nyquist is indeed on the move, which trade partners make the most sense? Let’s dive in and look at some potential swaps.
TRADE: Red Wings trade Nyquist and Jimmy Howard to the Calgary Flames for Mike Smith, Dillon Dube, and a 2019 first-round pick.
Let’s start off with a blockbuster. The Flames have one best records in the NHL this season and are all in with the playoffs on the horizon. As THW colleague Brandon Share-Cohen pointed out in a recent article, Nyquist would fit in well with Calgary’s top-six and would likely play on the second line with fellow Swede Mikael Backlund and the ever-dangerous Matthew Tkachuk.
As for the other pieces in the swap, the teams would swap netminders on expiring contracts, with Calgary receiving the better of the two goalies – Howard would provide some stability between the pipes in case David Rittich falters down the stretch. Finally, Dube is one of Calgary’s top forward prospects and has split time between the NHL and AHL this season. His skating, offensive instincts, and tenacity give him middle-six, all-situations upside at the NHL level.
TRADE: Red Wings trade Nyquist to the Washington Capitals for Andre Burakovsky and a conditional third-round pick.
If the Red Wings pursue a smaller deal for Nyquist, moving him to the Capitals for Burakovsky could be a logical solution. Burakovsky plays a similar game to Andreas Athanasiou, but isn’t quite as fast as Detroit’s resident speedster. Nonetheless, the Austrian-born forward has decent wheels and a fantastic release, but hasn’t rounded out the defensive side of his game and subsequently fallen out of favor in D.C.
Arbitration-eligible this summer, the Capitals don’t appear eager to continue paying Burakovsky $3 million (or more) per season and, thus, are looking to trade the former first-round pick. The Red Wings would need to retain some of Nyquist’s salary since the Capitals are also up against the salary cap upper limit.
Finally, the conditional draft pick would head to the Red Wings if Nyquist signs an extension with the Capitals or Detroit decides to non-tender Burakovsky after the season.
TRADE: Red Wings trade Nyquist to the Dallas Stars for Roope Hintz.
It’s no secret that Dallas general manager Jim Nill used to work for the Red Wings. It’s also no secret that the Stars could use some more offense, especially after the outburst from CEO Jim Lites, who also spent time in Hockeytown. If Mark Stone, Matt Duchene and/or Artemi Panarin land in the Central Division, Nill may have no choice but to keep up with the Joneses and acquire Nyquist.
In exchange, the Red Wings would pick up a former second-round pick in Hintz, who has strong hockey IQ and can play down the middle or on the wing. To make the deal work, the Red Wings would need to retain half of Nyquist’s salary.
Related: Worst Trades in Red Wings History
San Jose Sharks
TRADE: Red Wings trade Nyquist to the San Jose Sharks for Alexander Chmelevski.
With Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Joonas Donskoi, Timo Meier, and Erik Karlsson all on expiring contracts and some cap space to work with, the Sharks could become even more dangerous with the addition of Nyquist and push once again for a Stanley Cup.
Coming back to the Red Wings, “Sasha” Chmelevski is one of San Jose’s top prospects and has been tearing up the OHL this season. “He has legit high-end puck skills and hockey sense,” said The Athletic’s Corey Pronman. “Chmelevski can break a shift open and has the vision to run a power play.” (from ‘NHL farm system rankings: No. 17 San Jose Sharks’ – The Athletic NHL – 8/15/18)
What should the Detroit Red Wings demand in exchange for Gustav Nyquist? Share your thoughts below.
Tony Wolak is based in the Washington D.C. area and covers the Detroit Red Wings for THW. As a former junior and college hockey player, Tony has a unique perspective on Red Wings topics.