The Edmonton Oilers needed to improve their top six forwards corps. As such, they were in heavily on Gustav Nyquist. But, because the Blue Jackets were losing players rapidly in free agency, they stepped up and landed Nyquist leaving the Oilers to look at other options.
Former Blue Jackets Artemi Panarin had signed with the New York Rangers. Sergei Bobrovsky was going to Florida. Matt Duchene headed to Nashville. The Blue Jackets needed some offense and in a hurry.
As a result, they signed Nyquist to a four-year deal worth $5.5 million per season.
What Nyquist Offers The Blue Jackets
Nyquist spent last season splitting time between the Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks. He was a key pickup for the Sharks in an attempt to make a playoff run.
He had a cap hit of $4.75 million last year so his new contract is a bit of a bump, but for the Blue Jackets, with that money, they are getting an experienced point producer who is a lock for their top six. He turns 30 on Sept.1. and has 131 goals, 175 assists in exactly 500 NHL games.
There was a ton of chatter on Sunday night that Nyquist was attracting interest from other teams and that things looked less likely as far as the Oilers were concerned. As the numbers worked their way up, Columbus became the last team standing.
Nyquist’s Offensive Production
Consistently a 40-55 point NHL player, Nyquist brings one thing to the Jackets they could sorely use – stability.
A multiple 20-goal man, San Jose would have loved to keep Nyquist but was strapped salary cap-wise. The priority was to get deals done for Timo Meier and Kevin Lebanc and re-sign Joe Thornton at a reasonable number. Gustav just didn’t fit into San Jose’s financial plan.
He also wasn’t the type of player Detroit found it easy to get rid of. They did so, only because of where their franchise was at and the decision to rebuild. This is the kind of player Edmonton could use. Holland knew it and it made sense he wanted to get him back, just in a different uniform.
The Oilers were linked to him from day one, but it was about money for Edmonton and how little of it they had to spend.
What Else Are the Blue Jackets Working On?
There is news Columbus isn’t done. With empty roster spots available and a ton of cap space, they’re happy to spend, expect the Blue Jackets to be one of the busier teams as the day progresses.
Nyquist will join Cam Atkinson, Brandon Dubinsky, Nick Foligno and Alex Wennberg as the top options for offense. Is it enough to make them a playoff team? It seems like there’s some work to do there.
Jim Parsons is a freelance writer who covers the Edmonton Oilers and news and rumors posts here at The Hockey Writers.
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