Calling him the third most talented skater is an overstatement, but after last season it was pretty clear Nyquist deserved time on Wings, especially after the playoffs. The only reason he wasn't was his contract status and the team's cap situation.
Who knows what he would've done for the Wings during that stretch, but I doubt he would've done worse than whoever he would've replaced.
Not sure it was really all that clear after last season, but regardless; Bert, Sammy, and Tootoo were all signed before last season and unfortunately we weren't able to buy out any of them.
And for some perspective, since it's a little too easy to judge solely on hindsight, stats for Bert and Sammy prior to signing their latest deals:
Bert: 71gp, 14g, 38p
Sammy: 54gp, 14g, 31p
(Even Tootoo was coming off a 30p season, though I think he was signed for a completely different role, and scoring wasn't really a factor.)
They were signed as depth/complementary scorers. Short-term, I believe precisely because of the kids. And it's not like they're in their 50s or anything, and we should have had any reason to suspect they would both miss basically a full year injured, and then be so ineffective after (though I'd say Bert hasn't been horrible). Would have been nice had they been one year deals, but I'd say it was only injuries that really made that an issue.