Preds Become Buyers in Free Agency, Add Ryan O'Reilly & Gustav Nyquist
This came as somewhat of a surprise for many in Nashville. The Predators were viewed as a rebuilding team that wouldn't do much in free agency aside from maybe a few depth players.
Instead, Barry Trotz was aggressive in free agency by signing Ryan O'Reilly and Gustav Nyquist. A curveball from Trotz when many figured he'd be conservative in his approach to free agency.
O'Reilly surprised much of the NHL world by choosing Nashville over staying with the hockey mecca of hockey that is the Toronto Maple Leafs. A rebuilding team content with missing the playoffs for a few years doesn't go out and get O'Reilly, and also get Nyquist for that matter.
Trotz also signed both O'Reilly and Nyquist to moderately team friendly deals. These aren't high risk contracts that will hamstring the organization down the road. It's a low-risk, but potentially high-reward pair of acquisitions by Trotz.
In nearly a half of season worth of games, the results speak for themselves that these moves have been beneficial. Both O'Reilly and Nyquist have been great for Filip Forsberg's offensive explosion this season, and Nashville has a reliable and quality top line.
On a smaller note, Trotz didn't stop in free agency with O'Reilly and Nyquist He signed Luke Schenn as well, and later added Denis Gurianov. Schenn has been underwhelming to say the least, and Gurianov has yet to make his NHL season debut but is leading the Milwaukee Admirals in points.