It's not hard to make the case that Eric Nystrom's birthday came a little bit early this year, when he potted four goals against the Calgary Flames last month:
It's just too bad that someone forgot to invite the rest of the Preds offense to the party that night....
|2013 - Eric Nystrom||56||11||5||16||-21||49||0||1||1||81||13.6|
"Nye" has been one of the more pleasant and surprising stories of GM David Poile's July 2013 free agency splurge. While not one of the NHL's elite scorers, the left winger is currently on a 16-goal pace for the season, which would tie his career best. Sometimes, all a player needs is a change of scenery to begin producing and lay a foundation on which he can build going forward. Nystrom has also been willing to engage we sourpusses at OTF on Twitter about the team's offensive philosophy and his place in the system, and we remain grateful for the interaction and access.
Speaking of David Poile, the only General Manager in Nashville Predators franchise history, also celebrates a birthday today. Along with Head Coach Barry Trotz, GMDP has transformed an expansion franchise in a non-traditional hockey market from the butt-end of jokes around the hockey world to a near-perennial playoffs contender that mainstream media must take seriously in any given season. In 2001, Poile was awarded the Lester Patrick Trophy for his contributions to hockey in the United States. It is no surprise, then, that he was tapped to serve as General Manager of the USA Hockey Men's team in Sochi this year. We wish him well as he continues to recover from a Shea Weber-induced injury, in addition to wishing him a Happy Hockey Birthday!