It's not much more than Chris Kelly. Both are 3rd line centres who puts up similar PPG.
Gaustad is hurt more, but is better on face-offs. I like Kelly's two-way play, but Gaustad is a better hitter.
Kelly is also a better goalscorer and a great playoff performer.
For all of the people saying Gaustad would have gotten more on the open market, what team would have paid him more than this, and what role would he play? Unless you are really top-heavy, he's a 4th liner on a playoff team. He's a great faceoff man and just about every team has more than a couple of inflated contracts, so it's not a criticism of Nashville, but I cannot imagine Gaustad signing for more anywhere else.
They must think they really need him to contend with teams in the West with big forwards.
Somehow I think this exactly like the situation with Sean Bergenheim and or Tomas Kopecky last offseason, granted that Tallon had to get Panthers to cap floor somehow but anyway I think it's same for Poile this offseason too.
Its better than losing him for nothing. When you have the cap space, you either use it or lose it, you don't get extra cap space next year for saving it. You don't get draft picks for saving it. The preds have the space and apparently the financial capability for this move, so why not?
How is Kotalik at all involved in this? He came over in the Regehr trade..
Buffalo got Calgary's 2012 2nd because they took Kotalik off Calgary's hands. Buffalo then used Calgary's 2012 2nd and used it at the Draft with the Nashville 1st Rounder which we got back for Gaustad at the Trade Deadline to move up at the Draft and get Girgensons.