Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE
Per the Detroit Red Wings, the team has returned forward Gustav Nyquist to their AHL Affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins. This leaves the Red Wings with 22 active players on their roster (after discounting the four who are on injured reserve).
MLive's Ansar Khan has a bit of a hint as to why.
The Red Wings are hoping that center Darren Helm can return as early as Wednesday at home against Minnesota.
"He's skating today and tomorrow and after two days of practice I'd assume it's a Wednesday morning decision,'' general manager Ken Holland said.
Helm coming off injured reserve would push the Wings' roster size to the maximum limit of 23. Of course, being unsure that he'll return makes sending Nyquist down right now a bit more curious, except the Wings don't play again until Wednesday while the Griffins have a Tuesday matchup scheduled against the Peoria Rivermen (the Blues' affiliate).
Also, Mike Babcock has already said that he's going with the same 12 forwards on Wednesday that he did on Saturday if Helm can't go, so there's no point in making Nyquist a healthy scratch in Detroit if he could be playing in Peoria on Tuesday instead.
The Wings have been slow to bring Nyquist into a full-time Red Wings role, preferring to keep the AHL's scoring leader playing top-line minutes in the AHL to continue his development (apparently forever).
Nyquist has a good attitude about the move, according to Bob Duff, who is probaby already writing a screed to fans about how nobody should be unhappy about this move.
Nyquist, who will be a restricted free agent this offseason has played in four games for the Red Wings this season and has one assist, seven shots on goal, and is a -1 in 13:00 played per-game. Ken Holland has repeatedly told the press that he feels Nyquist should be getting top-six minutes either in Detroit or in Grand Rapids. With Detroit's lines set as current, that leaves no room for Nyquist in the top six with the big club.