In the days, hours and minutes before the 2018 NHL Trade Deadline on Monday, rivals traded with rivals, first-round draft picks went flying, and the best teams got even better.
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Several hours before the NHL‘s trade deadline passed by on Monday, Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong made a big move, sending forward Paul Stastny to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a conditional first-round draft pick in 2018, a conditional fourth-round pick in 2020 and forward prospect Erik Foley.
Steen gave the Blues a 2-0 lead at 3:10 of the second period on a rebound. Vladimir Tarasenko passed to Paul Stastny on a 3-on-2, and his backhand shot was saved by Rinne before Steen got the rebound and scored top shelf.
The Winnipeg Jets acquired center Paul Stastny from the St. Louis Blues on Monday, making him a player worth adding down the stretch of the fantasy season. The Rangers announced in a letter to their fans and at a press conference Feb. 8 that they would be trading popular players to turn their focus to next season and beyond. The totality of what they sacrificed to put that plan into motion is massive and jarring and not all that surprising.
Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller were traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday for a first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, a conditional first-round pick in the wholesale nhl jerseys 2019 NHL Draft, center Vladislav Namestnikov, and prospects Brett Howden and Libor Hajek.
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Their haul: Forward Vladislav Namestnikov, 25, who has 123 points in 263 NHL games; center Ryan Spooner, 26, with 144 points in 254 NHL games; 20-year-old WHL defenseman Libor Hajek; 20-year-old KHL defenseman Yegor Rykov; 20-year-old NCAA defenseman Ryan Lindgren; 19-year-old WHL center Brett Howden; 24-year-old AHL prospect Rob O’Gara; the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2018 first-round pick; the Lightning’s 2019 second-round pick, which becomes a first if they win the Stanley Cup in the next two seasons; the Boston Bruins’ 2018 first-round pick; the New Jersey Devils’ 2018 second-round pick; a 2018 third-round pick from Boston; and a 2019 seventh-round pick from the Bruins — which is, of course, the key to everything.
Remind me to never make Dustin Byfuglien angry. That hit came in yesterday’s 4-2 Jets loss to the Blues, one that was highlighted by two more goals from Vladimir Tarasenko. Tarasenko is now tied for the league scoring lead, with nine points.
The deal comes on the heels of a breakout season in which he scored 37 goals and recorded 73 points in 77 games, good for tenth in overall league scoring. He had been a restricted free agent, meaning he was free to sign an offer sheet with any team. Instead, the Blues locked him up for eight years, which is the maximum allowable contract length under the current CBA.
The same might also be said for forward Michael Grabner, 30, the Rangers’ leading goal-scorer with 52 since the start of last season, who was traded to the New Jersey Devils last Thursday for a second-round pick in 2018 and defenseman prospect Yegor Rykov. Grabner can be a UFA after this season too.
The Blues and Stars are currently tied with 72 points each, but Dallas holds the first tiebreaker (fewest games played). With a win Tuesday, the Blues would move two points ahead of the Stars, who are idle until Wednesday.
More importantly, the deal is almost unprecedented, in that it’s only Tarasenko’s second NHL contract. After just three seasons in the league, he was still years away from reaching unrestricted free agency. Similar deals to players like Phil Kessel or Corey Perry came with UFA status looming, giving the players leverage to demand a big deal or walk away and hit the open market. Players in Tarasenko’s situation have typically had to settle for signing a bridge deal before going long-term; we’ve never seen a player this young get this much money.