A horse is a horse, of course. But, for Gustav Nyquist, there happens to be a little more meaning to that line.
He’s become one of hockey’s emerging young talents, a player that has put up back-to-back 25-goal campaigns and standing as one of Detroit’s most consistent offensive sparkplugs.
Yet, he’ not the only one named Nyquist who has an impressive track record, so to speak.
A two-year-old horse that bears the name of the Red Wings forward is also turning heads, fashioning an unblemished record and a victory at the prestigious Breeders’ Cup World Championships in early November.
Owned by longtime Wings fan Paul Reddam, Nyquist, the player, joins a stable of Detroit players who have had horses named in their honour.
Pavel Datsyuk, Niklas Kronwall, Peter Mrazek, Henrik Zetterberg and 2015 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Nicklas Lidtsrom have also received the same homage.
“I’ve never really kept track of horse racing, but this has made me get into it a lot more,” said Nyquist. “It’s cool, but also really weird when you watch the race and your name in a different place than the ice. Of course, he’s my favourite horse.”
Boasting five wins in as many starts, Nyquist, the horse, could be a prominent player in next year’s Kentucky Derby, one of racing’s premier events, the first event in the U.S. Triple Crown.
The winger, who has appeared in over 200 NHL games, isn’t the only Swede pumped at the possibility of seeing the horse succeed on the sport’s biggest stage.
“I think friends and family just think it’s a cool thing,” said Nyquist. “We all wish him the best of luck in the future.”
While his horse racing namesake looks to rack up more trips to the winner’s circle, Nyquist wouldn’t mind seeing more equine stars fashioning the names of his teammates.
As for who is the best candidate to have a Reddam horse named after them, Nyquist, who won a silver medal with Sweden at the 2014 Winter Olympics, believes he’s found the perfect choice.
“The owner has had several horses named after Red Wings players,” he offered. “I think (teammate, Tomas) Tatar would be my choice.”
“Because he kind of reminds me of a jockey.”
~ Courtesy of NHLPA.com