The Blues have traded for Jay Bouwmeester. Surprisingly, that's not a rumor, but a fact. During the first intermission against Minnesota, while fans were crossing their fingers after Jaroslav Halak left with an injury, the news broke that the Blues acquired Jay Bouwmeester from Calgary.
In exchange for Bouwmeester, the Blues are sending two prospects – defenseman Mark Cundari and goaltender Reto Berra – along with a first-round pick in the 2013 Draft. This pick is a conditional one. Should the Blues miss the playoffs this season, the Blues will instead give Calgary a fourth-round pick in 2013 and a first-round pick in 2014.
Bouwmeester has two years left on his five-year, $33.4 million contract. He's owed $6.6 million in 2013 and $6.6 in 2013-14.
Wow. That's pretty much the only word I'd need to type here to sum up what Blues fans felt when they read the news.
Just days after the Jordan Leopold trade, the Blues go out and pluck a pricey defenseman off of Calgary's roster. Why is this move so surprising? When was the last time the Blues traded for a guy that has a salary of $6.6 million? With that large of a salary, Bouwmeester becomes the highest paid skater on the roster, making $1.9 million more than the second highest, Andy McDonald.
Bouwmeester, 29, waived his no-trade clause in order to join the Blues. He abandons a team in Calgary that's in the basement of the West and looking to sell of its pieces for one looking to make a run. In 33 games this season, Bouwmeester has six goals and nine assists for 15 points. He's a (-11) on the year, but that's not saying much considering all but seven Flames are on the wrong side of the plus/minus statistic.
The Blues wanted to find a left-handed defenseman that would upgrade their D, and it was thought Leopold was that man. Little did fans (and bloggers) know that GM Doug Armstrong had more in mind, especially after he commented on how expensive new parts would be in a local interview.
Considering that the rumors indicated that the Blues would have to deal widely loved prospect Ty Rattie to acquire Bouwmeester, the fact the youngster wasn't involved in the deal is a welcome sight.
Look for a post here in the future analyzing what pieces the Blues gave up and what Bouwmeester means for the upcoming contract negotiations for numerous St. Louis skaters.