NHL Trade Deadline Live Blog

NHL Trade Deadline Live Blog

Last year, I ran a “live blog” where all rumors/speculation/news about the Blues could be found as the deadline drew closer and it turned out to be a fairly big success. This year, we’re starting a little bit earlier. The deadline is set on Monday at 2pm Central, so we might as well get things started today. Below you’ll find all the rumblings concerning the Blues (don’t worry, no Eklund-style stuff in here) as the deadline creeps closer.

Just like last year, the most recent news will be at the top and all the times are Central.

February 28th – 3:08pm: Haven’t heard any official indication that the Blues are done dealing, but at over an hour past the deadline, we can assume the Winchester deal was the last move.

February 28th – 2:00pm: The deadline is officially here. Some deals trickle in past the deadline, so we’ll wait and see if any news is yet to break.

February 28th – 1:03pm: Naturally, as soon as I say things are quiet, news breaks that Brad Winchester has been traded to the Anaheim Ducks as reported by RogersSportsNet. In return, the Blues receive a third round pick in 2012. Anaheim needed a bit more muscle to round out their forwards and the Blues likely weren’t planning on offering Winchester a new deal a year’s end.

One blogger’s opinion: Blues have moved one of their UFAs. It really just boils down to the Blues getting something in return for a guy they didn’t plan on bringing back and now is the time to do it. A third round pick for Winchester is pretty decent value, especially if the Blues are planning on using their newly found picks in a future trade to acquire a new forward. The upcoming draft has been notoriously labeled as “soft”, so the possibility that the Blues are stockpiling picks in order to deal them for a notable skater isn’t something we’d rule out.

February 28th – 1:02pm: One hour to go and things remain mostly quiet, not only with the Blues, but with most of the clubs around the league.

February 28th – 12:11pm: Just under two hours to go and things have been fairly quiet across the league today. You should still bet on there being deals as the deadline storms closer, but it shouldn’t be a surprise that there isn’t much shaking today given all the deals the last two weeks.

February 28th – 11:10pm: There’s just under three hours remaining until this year’s deadline comes and goes.

February 28th – 11:04pm: ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Ty Conklin has cleared waivers.

One blogger’s opinion: Well, it’s no wonder we haven’t seen Conklin involved in a trade yet, as even when he was on the open market no one decided to place a claim on him.

February 28th – 10:44pm: Now that I’ve slept on it – and have power again – I can add a few more thoughts to the Brad Boyes deal. Boyes might just need a change of scenery to get things rolling again. Over the past couple years, it seemed as if he grew complacent with his role amongst the ranks and it seemed like he didn’t need to prove anything. Perhaps Boyes will find his scoring touch as he did when he moved from Boston to St. Louis during the 2006-07 season.

Last thought involving the deal: The Blues need to solidify their ownership, sooner than later. With Boyes’ deal no longer on the books the Blues are trending just above the minimum salary cap. This means the team has plenty of space to work with this summer to land some new faces, but that only can happen if the team has stable financial backing and an ownership that’s willing to spend. Things could be very exciting this summer if all the pieces come together and we could see recognizable name(s) join the Blues – fingers crossed.

February 27th – 10:31pm: According to Chris Kerber, radio play-by-play man for the St. Louis Blues, Brad Boyes has been traded to Buffalo. In return, the Blues will receive a second round draft pick in the 2011 NHL Draft.

One blogger’s opinion: Well, there you have it. The loss to Calgary, as we all imagined, caused the Blues to raise the white flag on the season. Brad Boyes has gotten a pretty bad rap for himself in St. Louis in recent years, failing to recapture the magic of his 43-goal season in 2007-08. Since then, Boyes has scored 33 goals in 2008-09 before plummeting to 14 last year. So far in 2010-11, Boyes continued to miss the net with his shots as evidenced by his 12 goals through 61 games. To be fair, Boyes was playing better as the season wore on, contributing some nifty passes and helping creating offense more through his skating and dishing of the puck than his shooting.

Clearly, Doug Armstrong has seen enough with some of the players we’ve grown accustomed to in St. Louis. It started with Erik Johnson and now carries to Brad Boyes. I’d have liked to get an NHL-ready player in return, but I’m happy to get something in return for Boyes assuming the team was ready to part ways and didn’t want his contract on the books next year – and a second round pick isn’t too shabby, especially since the Blues traded back in the draft in the Chris Stewart deal. It probably was pretty tough to move Boyes considering the sizable contract he carries with him into the 2011-12 season – a $4 million cap hit. This should help clear room for new contracts for both TJ Oshie and Patrik Berglund.

There’s a few players we know Armstrong won’t deal. For everyone else, all bets are off.

February 27th – 9:27pm: Blues fall to Calgary 1-0. The loss marks the first time the Blues have been shutout all season long. Coming into tonight, according to Sports Club Stats, the Blues had a dismal 9.5% chance of making the playoffs. After tonight, you can dock that number a few points lower. If the Blues were debating whether they would be sellers based on tonight, then it’s time to unload. One thing seems pretty certain: Tyson Stachan will not be a favorite of many fans anytime soon.

Now. On to the night where we see if the Blues move some pieces or finish the year with the lineup we saw tonight.

February 27th – 8:30pm:: Vladimir Sobotka blocked a shot during tonight’s game and limped off the ice. He will not return as he is sidelined with a “lower-body” injury.

One blogger’s opinion:: We don’t know what the severity of Sobotka’s injury is yet, but his injury could play a role in the team’s involvement at the deadline – depending on the diagnosis.

February 27th – 5:20pm: Once again, Yahoo Sports has their NHL Trade Tracker up and running. This is quite the handy resource to use to follow all of the deals going down across the league. They have all the moves listed dating back to February 9th, so if you’ve missed the flurry of early deals, that’s a great place to catch up.

February 27th – 5:14pm: All quiet leading up to tonight’s important contest against the Calgary Flames.

One blogger’s opinion: Hate to keep saying it, but each and every game is a crucial one and each point won or lost could prove to be vital. A win could keep the Blues right on the fringe of the thick of the hunt while a loss would push them even further out. One would imagine that a loss might make Armstrong’s grip on any non-core members of this roster loosen and could trigger some minor deals – that’s just an educated guess, however.

February 27th – 2:02pm: Jeff Gordon from the Post-Dispatch offers his views on the current trade market as Monday’s deadline approaches. Not much mentioned here about the Blues, but Gordon believes the team got a decent return for Eric Brewer considering the state of the market and believes Doug Armstrong sent a message to other veterans on the team’s roster by placing Ty Conklin on waivers. Gordon believes Conklin will clear waivers, which is something we will also learn the fate of come Monday.

February 27th -11:28am: Our friend Jeremy Rutherford over at the Post-Dispatch had an interesting interview with GM Doug Armstrong. They mainly discussed Ty Conklin and the team’s goaltending situation, but when the topic of trades was mentioned, Armstrong stated he was doubtful the Blues would do anything major. He said, “I like the makeup of our group right now.” Armstrong also went on to say that while things change, he doesn’t expect the Blues to be one of the headliners of the deadline.

One blogger’s opinion: With the major Chris Stewart/Erik Johnson deal in the books, this news isn’t surprising. Also, when you examine the news that Ty Conklin is on waivers, you begin to get the feeling that the Blues might be done wheeling and dealing. Obviously, by placing him on waivers you’re signalling that there wasn’t any interest in the backup through the trade market.

It’s far too early to sit back and think the Blues are finished as you can guarantee Armstrong’s phone will be busy until the deadline. If the Blues are active however, you can expect it to be of the minor variety and not another blockbuster of the Erik Johnson variety.