The David Perron trade rumors have come to fruition. The St. Louis Blues have dealt Perron to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Magnus Paajarvi and a second-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, as reported by the team's official site.
The move will clear Perron's $3.812 million cap hit off the books and give the Blues more room to try and sign Alex Pietrangelo, Chris Stewart and Jake Allen to new contracts. The Blues will have to sign Paajarvi to a new contract, but his cost should be significantly lower than Perron's.
Before diving too far into salary cap numbers, let's take a look at the player coming to St. Louis.
Paajarvi, a Swedish skater, was Edmonton's first pick (10th overall) in the 2009 NHL Draft. He made his NHL debut in 2010-11, appearing in 80 games while scoring 15 goals and adding 19 assists. The dreaded sophomore slump appeared in Paajarvi's second year. The youngster scored just eight points in 41 games and was sent down to the minors. Paajarvi reclaimed his role in the NHL last season, scoring 16 points in 42 games.
This is a solid move for both teams. Both players should benefit from a change of scenery after failing to live up to expectations. The Oilers aren't acquiring the power forward they need, but by adding Perron they help round out an already talented offense. The Blues exchange Perron's cap hit (just over $3.8 million) for Paajarvi's smaller cap hit (was $1.525 million, should be in the same ballpark under a new contract). By shedding some salary, the Blues should have an easier time signing Pietrangelo, Stewart and Allen. While clearing some cap space, the Blues receive an interesting asset in Paajarvi and a decent pick in next year's draft.
Perron heads to the Oilers after spending six years and 340 games with the Blues. Over that time he scored 84 goals and 114 assists.
It's definitely a strong move for both teams. both teams get players looking to prove themselves, with Edmonton acquiring the more established skill with more cost. Perhaps a change of scenery for both players is just what they need to flourish.
Specifically from the Blues standpoint, I think the acquisition is very good. There were already too many forwards on the team, and now you acquire one that has more growth room and can allow the other forwards to see the ice more too. The pick helps too. But the cost savings is really what's saving us here, as I think has already been well established among the Note's fandom. Signing Petro is a must, as well as Allen. Stewart would've been expendable if needed, but his offensive production and his big body on the ice would have been sorely missed.
My one question left at the end of this deal, though, is whether Armstrong is finished. He has freed up almost $13M in cap space with this trade, but Paajarvi is not yet signed. I still don't know that it's enough to sign all 4 of the RFAs now. My guess is that Petro will get 6-7M, Stewart will get around 4M, Allen maybe 1.5M, Paajarvi maybe 1.75M if Armstrong can get lucky. We're looking in the neighborhood of 13-14.5M to get these 4 signed, unless Armstrong can work some true negotiating magic. My gut tells me someone else will have to go too.
Assuming for now that it is not Halak, based on the relatively dry market and Army's comments about wanting Jaro around, I don't know who else could go. Perhaps Army would find a taker for Halak or Elliott after getting Allen signed, even if the return wasn't much. Anyone else you would think as a potential mover?
After giving this trade more thought the more I think it's a strong deal for the Blues. I still think Perron could turn into something really special, but the fact he's at where he's at and he has an intimidating history with concussions to his name have me concerned.
As for your question, that's a tremendous question. Though Armstrong has said the goaltenders are safe, I could still see him dealing one should the right offer emerge. I'm not sure I'd trust a duo of Elliott and Allen, but we all know Armstrong will pull the trigger on the deal if he thinks he's coming out ahead.
If the goaltending is truly safe, I'm honestly not sure who might be a potential trade candidate. The Blues are loaded with forward as is, but will be more so if/when Stewart signs. Maybe it's a minor deal which cleans up some of the backlog of players. I doubt Armstrong wants a handful of healthy guys on the bench. Maybe a Chris Porter? Just a guess.