NHL Insider does complete 180 on Ryan O'Reilly trade

He's changing his tune!



Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas elected to go all-in at last month's NHL Trade Deadline, bringing aboard former 2019 Conn Smythe Trophy winner Ryan O'Reilly from the St. Louis Blues (along with Noel Acciari) while also bringing back former 2008 1st round Draft selection Luke Schenn. 

O'Reilly has been extremely valuable so far in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Leafs in their Round 1 series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, having racked up five points (none bigger than his late game-tying goal in Game 3) while also performing well in the face-off circle. 

Initially, Frank Seravalli of The Daily Faceoff wasn't exactly keen on the acquisition. Take a look at what he initially had to say following the move: 

"This is either going to be Kyle Dubas' signature move or it's going to be the signature on his death warrant as GM of the Maple Leafs. I'm a Ryan O'Reilly fan... my question is, when you watch this season, how far removed his he from that 2019 player and Selke win. I think watching this year, I would say pretty far away from that player. Does this trade, in your opinion, shift the balance of power in the East?... So you're able to get through Tampa... I don't look at this trade and say 'this helps them vastly change this power structure that's in place. Do you think the Tampa Bay Lightning are sitting there saying today 'oh man, I'm shaking in my boots that they got Ryan O'Reilly now?'

But now that O'Reilly has reverted back into his MVP style of play from the Blues Cup run of 2019, Seravalli is changing his tune, having this to say during an appearance on "The FAN 590 Morning Show": 

"The Leafs, they need a killer and Ryan O'Reilly is a killer. It's so important to have someone they can rely on to step up."

Thanks to O'Reilly, the Leafs are now two wins away from their first playoff series victory since 2004. Game 4 between the Leafs and Lightning is tonight from Amalie Arena starting at 7:30 PM EST.