In an effort to shore up a depleted center position, the St. Louis Blues dealt former 27 goal scorer Lee Stempniak to Toronto in exchange for center Alexander Steen and defensemen Carlo Colaiacovo.
With Andy McDonald sidelined with a broken ankle and both TJ Oshie and Patrick Berglund fighting injuries of their own the Blues needed to find a veteran center to help this team compete.
Stempniak was deemed tradeable with the emergence of Steve Regier, who has scored three goals in his first two games with the Blues this year. With Regier being under team control for the next few years, it was easy to see why the Blues would keep a player with comparable upside and under team control over a player who would command a multi-million dollar deal after the season.
Colaiacovo had fallen out of favor very quickly in Toronto after being a first round pick in 2001.
Blues President John Davidson believes that "Carlo is a solid two-way defensman and will add depth to our blueline." If the Blues are to win this trade Colaiacovo has to do more than he has shown so far in his career. With only 33 career points in 111 games Colaiacovo will not be looked at as a offensive force, but can be very good at shutting down opponents top offensive threats.
Steen is going to be called upon to be the No. 1 center for the Blues. While only recording four points this season Steen has been a consistent scorer in the past and, paired with Brad Boyes and Keith Tkachuk, could put up career numbers.
The upside on Steen is that he can shift over to the wing when players such as McDonald and Paul Kariya return allowing the Blues to have a more veteran lineup deeper into the season.
Lee Stempniak had a breakout year in 2006-07 with his 27 goals and 25 assists but has not had the same production since. A knee injury earlier this season limited Stempniak but he has started to pick up his scoring in the last two weeks.
Stempniak has scored all three of his goals and eight of his 10 assists in his last seven games. The Maple Leafs are acquiring a class act and Lee will shine in Ron Wilson's system.
This trade is a bit hard to swallow here in St. Louis but with the injuries the Blues have suffered so far it is a needed trade. Stempniak may regain his form from two years ago but getting two for the price of one softens the blow a little bit.
If Colaiacovo stays healthy and Steen finds it easy to play with Boyes and Tkachuk this could be a huge steal for Davidson and the Blues. Only time will tell but this trade could help both teams short term and long term.