Detroit – While you were sleeping, the Detroit Red Wings took another step in their dismantling.
With the NHL trade deadline set for 3 p.m. Monday afternoon, they traded forward Gustav Nyquist – who agreed to waive his no-trade clause – to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a 2019 second-round pick and a 2020 conditional third-round pick.
That 2020 draft pick becomes a second-round pick if the Sharks reach the Stanley Cup Finals this season or Nyquist re-signs in San Jose.
In an effort to continue the rebuild, the Wings now have 10 draft picks in the 2019 draft, including three second-round picks – their own, San Jose’s and the New York Islanders’ (acquired from Vegas in the Tomas Tatar trade).
Nyquist had just scored his 16th goal this season Sunday afternoon as the Red Wings, ironically, lost to the Sharks 5-3 at Little Caesars Arena.
Nyquist, 29, is putting together his career-best season offensively. His 49 points are just five short of a career-high.
The Wings were hoping to re-sign Nyquist, who can be an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Nyquist is in the final season of a four-year contract, with a $4.75 million salary cap hit.
But Nyquist is reportedly seeking a new contract in upward of $5 million per season, a commitment the Wings we’re willing to meet.
"Gustav is a talented, versatile forward who plays with speed and a strong hockey sense," general manager Doug Wilson said. "His track record of strong play and character speak for themselves and we're very excited to add him to our dressing room."
The trade of Nyquist was not unexpected. Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said he has been doing quite a bit of "tire-kicking" ahead of Monday's trade deadline.
The Sharks wanted to add more forward depth as they try to make a run for a title this season. They are third in the NHL with 82 points and are just three points behind first-place Calgary in a tight Pacific Division race.
The Wings still have goaltender Jimmy Howard, forward Thomas Vanek and defenseman Niklas Kronwall – all potential UFAs – available to trade. Holland traded defenseman Nick Jensen to Washington Friday afternoon for defenseman Madison Bowey and a 2020 second-round pick; the Wings sent a 2019 fifth-rounder to Washington.
San Jose could also be looking for goaltending depth and might be interested in Howard.
San Jose is third in the league in scoring at 3.62 goals per game and has five players with at least 20 goals this season. Nyquist will likely fit in on either the second or third line with San Jose.
In 481 career games with Detroit, Nyquist had 125 goals and 170 assists.
Detroit News wire services contributed.