Call it Kyle Turris insurance if you’d like, but either way, the Phoenix Coyotes got a little bit deeper at center today by acquiring Cal O’Reilly from the Nashville Predators. It’ll cost the ‘Yotes their fourth round pick in 2012.
O’Reilly showed flashes of brilliance in Nashville, but with the emergence of veteran pivot Mike Fisher and competition from Craig Smith, Blake Geoffrion and other youngsters it seemed like he was the odd man out. (Some wonder if this might be a prelude to a bigger move for the Predators, but we’ll see.) The Coyotes can always use a little boost to an offense that isn’t especially exciting on paper, so we’ll see if coach Dave Tippett can squeeze out more of O’Reilly’s offensive potential.
Coyotes GM Don Maloney more or less admitted that the move has at least something to do with Turris’ holdout.
“(O’Reilly) is good young center ice man, very clever, creative,” General Manager Don Maloney said. “I’m not overly optimistic that Kyle will sign with us this season. However, the door is always open for him to return. O’Reilly is a good player. We’ve targeted him for a while, a clever center iceman, quick.”
Exceedingly literal Predators fans can say that GM David Poile generated a “gain” in the deal, too; O’Reilly was drafted in the fifth round in 2005 (50th overall). His production in Phoenix this season (and beyond) will tell us if the team will regret the move in the future, though.