NHL: Breaking Down The Blues/Avs Blockbuster Trade

Daniel FriedmanCorrespondent IFebruary 20, 2011

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 20:  Erik Johnson #6 of the St. Louis Blues warms up before playing against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on March 20, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Just after midnight this past Saturday, the St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche announced a major shakeup of their rosters.

The Blues gave up defenseman Erik Johnson, a former first overall draft pick, forward Jay McClement and a first round draft choice to the Avalanche in exchange for another young defenseman in Kevin Shattenkirk, power forward Chris Stewart and a second round pick.

Both sides definitely gain from this deal, but I am going to go ahead and say that the Blues won this trade, at least in terms of immediate impact.

St. Louis gets forward Chris Stewart, a power forward with scoring touch and speed. He will add a new dimension to the Blues' offensive attack, one that they have not seen in a long time.

Despite losing Erik Johnson, they still manage to get Kevin Shattenkirk, a young defenseman who is arguably just as good as Johnson, and has played less National Hockey League games than the latter.

The Blues also get a second round pick from the Avalanche in this trade.

The Blues improve both their offense and defense with this trade. However, this upgrade came at a high price.

The Avs get Erik Johnson, who, at a young age, has been named to the U.S. Olympic Team, has playoff experience and has tons of untapped potential. He has struggled to regain his form since his last injury, but if he can ever become the stud he's projected to be, the Avalanche will have a steady blue line for years to come.

In Jay McClement, the Avs get a solid two-way forward, who mainly wins faceoffs and plays on the penalty kill.

Colorado also receives St. Louis' first round draft pick, which is a major bonus.

The Avalanche have clearly realized that their rebuild will take longer than most anticipated, and as far as potential impact is concerned, they have a chance to run away with this trade.

However, assuming Johnson does not become an All-Star caliber defender, it will be hard for the Avalanche to win this trade, which is why I am sticking with the St. Louis Blues.

Ultimately, the St. Louis Blues are now a better, more complete team than than they were before the trade, and the Avalanche are not, but could be in the future.


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