NHL trade deadline 2018: Jets land Paul Stastny from Blues for package of picks
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In a deadline day that has been marked by rumors and speculation, another shoe has finally dropped. The Winnipeg Jets have acquired center Paul Stastny from the Blues for a package that includes a first-round pick in the 2018 draft, a conditional fourth-rounder in the 2020 draft and prospect Erik Foley.
The move is a bit of a head-scratcher for the Blues, who are only a point behind the Flames in the Western Conference wild-card race, despite losing six straight. It really comes down to getting something instead of nothing, and Stastny is an unrestricted free agent after this season, so it appears that St. Louis simply felt it was time to cut ties with the 32-year-old alternate captain.
Stastny’s cap hit was $7 million this season, which the Blues retain 50 percent of. Stastny waived a no-trade clause to approve the deal as well.
The Jets get a player with 40 points so far this season, which is tied for fifth on Winnipeg’s roster. Twelve of Stastny’s points are goals. The Jets currently trail only the Predators and the Golden Knights in the West, and Stastny puts them in position to make a deeper run. He’ll be a solid second-line center, as there’s no reason to believe Mark Scheifele won’t be helming the first line moving forward.
It’s a deal that makes the Jets better and tips the Blues’ hand. While losing Stastny doesn’t mean they’re bowing out of the playoff race, it certainly shows where their priorites lie. Brayden Schenn is still an excellent center, but losing depth at the position does impact the Blues’ chances of catching the Flames. Perhaps they think they have enough firepower without Stastny to move ahead without him (and his contract).