Lost in the confusion of the David Perron trade was the somewhat surprising story that Philip McRae was leaving the Blues to go play with Tappara in the Finnish Elite League.
McRae, the son of former Blues forward Basil McRae, was expected to start 2013-14 in the AHL with the Chicago Wolves. Instead, McRae heads to Finland where he will make a bit more money and will compete in Finland's top league.
Despite McRae leaving the Blues for Finland, the club will retain his NHL rights for the next four years.
This news caught some by surprise, including Doug Armstrong. Army believed that McRae would benefit from a healthy season skating in the competitive atmosphere of Chicago. It was supposed to be a telling year for McRae, a player who has only appeared in 15 NHL games. The 2013-14 season could have been the year McRae would elevate his game and make a strong case for a more permanent role in the NHL in the coming years.
Will McRae's game improve in Finland? We'll have to wait and see.