Well, that didn’t take long.
Gustav Nyquist, the Detroit forward squeezed out due to salary cap issues, proved he belonged with the Wings all along by scoring just 17 seconds into his season debut on Thursday, giving his club a 1-0 lead over Carolina:
Nyquist cracked the Wings roster last year with a good regular season (six points in 22 games) and a very impressive postseason (five points in 14 games). He proceeded to join Grand Rapids for its Calder Cup run, then signed a two-year, $1.9 million extension in the hopes of becoming a full-time contributor in Detroit.
But that was before the Wings re-upped with Dan Cleary and couldn’t find any takers for the likes of Jordin Tootoo and Patrick Eaves (who have since been waived, and are now in Grand Rapids). Detroit was carrying as many as 16 forwards on NHL contracts this year, and only found room for Nyquist after putting defenseman Danny DeKeyser on LTIR.
Nyquist, 24, has been tearing it up for the Rapids this year, scoring 21 points in his first 15 games. He sits tied for fourth in league scoring and is second in assists, with 14.