The St. Louis Blues have traded forward Matt D'Agostini and a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2015 draft to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for either a conditional 2015 fourth-round pick or a fifth-round pick, as reported by the team's official site.
D'Agostini has struggled to find regular playing time this season and now that the team is mostly healthy, the club believed they should cash in on his value before his contract expired at the end of the 2013 season. The move should please D'Agostini as he has requested additional playing time – something he likely wouldn't have found with the Blues.
This was a move that a lot of people saw coming. With the Blues returning injured players such as Andy McDonald, Alex Steen, Vladimir Tarasenko and T.J. Oshie combined with the reliable play from Chris Porter and Adam Cracknell, Matt D'Agostini was left without a fixed role. Add in the fact the Blues are currently rolling with three goaltenders, you knew the team would have to make a roster decision sooner than later.
As for what the Blues receive in return for D'Agostini, that depends on what New Jersey decides to do with him once his contract expires this summer. If the Devils give him a qualifying offer or sign him, the Blues will receive a fourth-round pick in 2015. If not, it'll be a fifth-round pick.
D'Agostini skated in 16 games for the Blues this season, scoring one goal and one assist. In 2011-12, he appeared in 55 games, scoring nine goals and nine assists. His best season with the Blues and in the NHL came in 2010-11 when he tallied 21 goals and 25 assists in 82 games.
New Jersey fans might not be overly impressed with D'Agostini based on his declining stats, but rest assured, you're getting a good one. D'Agostini is a hard worker and a quick skater. He can fly down the wing, creating space while beating defensemen to the puck. When he plays, he plays with emotion and intensity that can make a fan proud. How proud? Consider that Blues fans took to Twitter in waves, thanking D'Agostini for his service while commending him for his hard work in St. Louis when they learned of the trade.
Offensively, D'Agostini is better than his statistics indicate. He has averaged just 11:52 minutes of playing time a night for the Blues in 2013. When he has played, most of its been on the third or fourth line, limiting his scoring opportunities and instead placing him in more of a grinding role. By comparison, when he was skating as a top-6 forward with the Blues in 2010-11 and averaging 14:45 minutes a night, D'Agostini lit the lamp 21 times.
This is a hockey move that makes sense for both parties. St. Louis had a surplus of forwards and wanted value from their player before they lost him to free agency, while New Jersey needed some offensive assistance.