Since the end of last season, the Blues organization has expressed the need for a good left handed defenseman to sure up the left side of the back end. Doug Armstrong not only got one guy, he got two.
First, he struck a deal with Buffalo for top four defenseman Jordan Leopold. Leopold instantly gave young stud Kevin Shattenkirk a great new partner.
Then, Armstrong announced a blockbuster Monday night that sent the best defenseman on the market, Jay Bouwmeester, to St. Louis. J Bo gives young phenom Alex Pietrangelo an excellent partner.
Finally on deadline day, the Blues shipped Wade Redden to Boston for a conditional seventh round pick. Sure, it does not seem like much, but when you consider Redden was gone after this season anyways, it is nice to get a little something back.
Sure, some people will be unsatisfied seeing as the team did not pick up a legitimate scorer on deadline day, but the market was very slim. Marian Gaborik was the best scorer to move today, and he was the only player better than anything the Blues roster currently holds, but he was not acquired cheaply.
Columbus got the winger, but sent away a couple quality players in the process. The Blues, on the other hand, did not give up too much to pick up some new pieces.
Bouwmeester comes to St. Louis for a first rounder, a decent defensive prospect in Mark Cundari, and a 26 year old goaltending prospect who may very well never come to North America in Reto Berra. Not too bad.
Leopold only cost the Blues a second rounder and a fifth rounder. Compare that to Pittsburgh's deal for Douglas Murray. The Pens gave up two second rounders for Murray, who is only as good as Leopold on his best nights.
Overall, the Blues were able to give their defense a couple major upgrades at a relatively cheap price. Plus, the team has set itself up nicely for not only this season, but for several years to come.
The team has already locked up most of its core guys for several years. Bouwmeester has another year left on his contract, so he will be on the team for at least one more season. However, the team has already expressed an interest in having J Bo being around for many years to come.
Leopold is set to become a free agent at seasons end, so there is a good chance he is only a rental for the team. However, since the team decided to move Redden instead of Cole or Russel, they keep a couple quality guys on D who can fill in if Leopold departs.
Overall, the Blues did a great job of picking up some great players at a quality price. If they can tie their game together, then this team has some potential to do some damage the rest of this season and beyond.
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