Some great news for you on a Tuesday morning, straight from the big 'ol club's big 'ol Twitter.
UPDATE: The #RedWings have agreed to a two-year deal with Gustav Nyquist.— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) August 20, 2013
If you'll indulge me for being a fan for a second, may I just say "WOOOO!"
But wait, there's more! Helene St. James from the Freep is quick with details on this one:
The deal is for $1.9 million, with a salary cap hit of $950,000.
Nyquist, who turns 24 in two weeks, had three goals and three assists in 22 games for the Wings last season, and contributed two goals and three assists in 14 playoff appearances.
Nyquist will remain an RFA when this contract expires.
So let's review the cap situation really quickly:
Detroit now has a 25-man roster, which is two more than they're going to be allowed to have when the season opens. The excess is made up entirely of forwards, as Detroit has 16 of those under contract right now. Generally teams carry 14 forwards. Even going with 15 would be pushing it.
All things considered (including the assumption that Daniel Alfredsson makes his $2M in bonuses and that cushion is already being used), the Wings are spending $637,879 more than they're allowed to.
Fortunately, the process of clearing two roster spots will also clear the cap crunch. The Red Wings could waive their lowest-paid player in Cory Emmerton and then would only need to clear a little over $100K in cap space with their next roster move. This gives GM Ken Holland flexibility to explore some trades which involve the team retaining up to 50% of a player's cap hit in a move.
Obviously, they're not going to want to be directly up against the cap, so they'll still be looking to clear as much as possible with in reason, but with Nyquist's AAV being where it is, they're afforded the flexibility to make roster decisions which are more about player contributions than they are directly about player compensation.