“Well, the trade deadline has come and gone, and whille league-wide there were several trades, there was nothing of the earth shaking variety. Jason Arnott, Dustin Penner, Dennis Wideman, Chris Campoli, Radek Dvorak, and Freddy Modin all were moved, but there were none of the mega trades that have happened in the past.
The Blues were one of the most active teams leading up to the deadline. It started with the Eric Brewer trade to Tampa Bay, followed by the trade of Erik Johnson and Jay McClemment to the Avalanche for Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk. In the last 24 hours, the Blues shipped Brad Boyes to Buffalo and Brad Winchester to Anaheim. With four trades in the book, it is time to grade them
Brad Boyes to Buffalo for a second round pick: Grade A-
This deal, maybe even more so than the one with the Avalanche, was a shocker. Boyes had become a whipping boy for fans after watching his production drop off steeply the last two years. In his first two years with the Blues, he scored 76 goals. Since, he scored 27. Total. He certainly wasn’t getting paid to be a third liner, and to get something as valuable as a second round pick was a remarkable stroke of luck for GM Doug Armstrong and the Blues. I would have given this a full A+, except the Blues gave up one of the few players in the NHL considered a lock during shootouts. That will be sorely missed.
Erik Johnson and Jay McClemment (plus pick) to Colorado for Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk (plus pick): A-
It’s hard to give up a first overall pick after just a few years, but the Armstrong showed he had the courage to make a deal like this. Johnson still may become a force in the NHL, but the Blues recouped quite a bit in this trade, getting a potential 40-goal scorer (Stewart) and a puck moving defenseman with speed and tenacity (Shattenkirk). In recent days, former NHL player Peter Stastny went on record to say that he thought the Blues absolutely fleeced the Avalanche in this deal. It’s been said already, but is there any doubt that the meteoric rise of Alex Pietrangelo was the downfall of Johnson?
Eric Brewer to Tampa Bay for a third round pick: Grade B-
Trading a captain, even one as controversial as Brewer, is never easy. As much as he had become loathed by Blues fans, Brewer was having an great year this year, finally injury free. He was contributing offense, and was solid on the backend. However, with a glut of young defensemen, Brewer had become expendable. I gave this a B- because it seems to me that a veteran defenseman having a solid year could have been worth more than just a third rounder.
Brad Winchester to Anaheim for a third round pick: Grade incomplete
This is a fairly neutral trade that screams salary dump. With the addition of Stewart, Winchester’s big body becaome expendable. Stewart, David Backes, and Patrick Berglund are all big men, and are all now, with Berglund joining the fray, playing that way. Winchester by all accounts was a good teammate, a hard worker, and a good grinder.
The Blues acquired a lot of picks with these trades, and Armstrong told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that just because the Blues have these picks doesn’t mean they are going to use them all. This screams to me that at the draft, the Blues are going to be looking to add some pieces. They unloaded a ton of money off the books ($4 million alone with Boyes) with these trades. Is a trade in the works after the season? Time will tell, but there is some financial flexibility here for the Blues. “