Eric Brewer Traded to Tampa Bay
The Blues have traded Eric Brewer to Tampa Bay in exchange for the rights to prospect Brock Beukeboom and a third round pick in 2011. We assumed the Blues would be entering the trading world in the near future as they fell further and further out of contention, and today signals that the team will be a seller this deadline. Brewer has decided to waive his trade clause and will immediately jump from the 13th team in the Western Conference to the 2nd best team in the Eastern Conference. It really isn't surprising that Brewer was the first to go as the defender was putting together a solid season in the last year of his contract. If there's one thing teams usually hunt for at the deadline it is depth at the blueline and Brewer fits that description. This move also all but signals that the Blues have acknowledged that their run for the post-season is coming to an early end. Unfortunately, Brewer's time in St. Louis was a rocky, injury-filled endeavor. He joined the Blues in the 2005-06 season, skating in 32 games while recording an ugly plus/minus of (-17). The negative end of the plus/minus statistic became well known to Brewer as the following seasons he went (-10) in 2006-07, (-18) in 2007-08, (-14) in 2008-09 and a (-17) last season. This year, finally healthy and playing with a new sense of urgency (contract year anyone?) Brewer has posted his best plus/minus (a +1) that the Blues have seen during his time here. Brewer has been openly criticized by the fans that question his ability to be a leader, let alone a captain of a hockey team. On the ice, Brewer appears to be a fairly quiet and mostly reserved skater - not exactly the "lead by example" type you would expect to find in a captain. However, players often talked very highly in regards to Brewer and there likely was plenty of things going on behind the scenes that would contradict the views of the fans. Brock Beukeboom now comes over to the St. Louis organization, assuming the Blues sign him - think Halak-style situation - (along with a 3rd round pick) and adds another defensive prospect to the team's ranks. Beukeboom was drafted by Tampa Bay in the 3rd round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and has yet to make an appearance at the NHL level. The Blues now own his rights and we'd imagine will sign him in the relatively near future. With Brewer no longer with the club we imagine David Backes is set to take over the role of captain of your St. Louis Blues - and we couldn't think of a better candidate. However, we may see the Blues hold off until next season to formally announce a new captain. Of course, there is the possibility Brewer pulls a Keith Tkachuk and returns to the Blues the following season after a trade. That seems like an unlikely scenario, but we've seen stranger things before. I guess we will just have to wait and see. The Blues had been dressing seven defenseman at times, so we shouldn't see any new faces out there on the ice for the immediate future. With this move in the books, we'd expect the Blues to still remain active in the trade market as they look to rebuild after another (likely) failed season.