The St. Louis Blues were rather active in the week leading up to the NHL Trade Deadline.
They traded captain Eric Brewer to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for defenseman Brock Beukeboom and a third-round pick at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
In addition, they shipped former 1st overall draft pick Erik Johnson to the Colorado Avalanche for forward Chris Stewart and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.
Obviously, it will take time before one team is determined a “winner” in a deal.
I understand the Brewer trade. His stale personality and negative performance was a problem in a young locker room that undoubtedly needed better chemistry.
Initially I was incredibly disappointed with the Johnson trade. How could an organization give up so quickly on a player they drafted, invested in, and developed?
Upon further review, I think the move made sense. They acquired two former first round picks in Stewart and Shattenkirk. The Blues lacked depth offensively. The emergence of Stewart should produce more goals (especially on the power play).
The development of Alex Pietrangelo was another factor in the Johnson trade. Pietrangelo, a former first overall pick, has clearly developed faster than Johnson.
The Blues are in a situation where they need to acquire as many quality hockey players possible. If that means trading away a chip of the franchise to improve the roster, all moves must be considered.
Time will tell. Johnson has the physical size and talent to be an elite defender in the National Hockey League. Fortunately for St. Louis, the emergence of Pietrangelo, Nikita Nikitan, and now Shattenkirk will help ease the loss of both Johnson and Brewer.