Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Blues deal King to Capitals for prospect Della Rovere

Blues resolve enforcer issue by keeping hometown native Janssen

ST. LOUIS -- The Blues have finally resolved their enforcer issue.

For much of the past season and into this summer, the looming question was what would the Blues do? Would they move into the future with Cam Janssen, D.J. King, both or neither?

The winner is the hometown native Janssen.

After the Blues first signed King to a two-year contract extension, then they traded the enforcer to the Washington Capitals on Wednesday for prospect Stefan Della Rovere.

King, 26, was a restricted free agent and could not come to an agreement with the Blues but the trade came to fruition contingent upon King signing a new deal with the Blues.

King finally came to an agreement on a $1.275 million contract and will pay the 6-foot-3, 230-pound winger $625,00 in 2010-11 and $675,000 in 2011-12.

Della Rovere, 20, comes to the Blues after playing in the Ontario Hockey League with the Barrie Colts last season, where he scored 18 goals and added 23 assists in 57 games. Della Rovere, who was drafted in the seventh round (204th overall) by the Capitals in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, was a teammate of Blues prospect Alex Pietrangelo and was captain of the Colts.

The two also played together the last two seasons representing Team Canada at the World Junior Championship, winning the gold in 2009 and silver in 2010.

The 5-11, 200-pound forward went on to play for the 2010 Calder Cup champion Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League after his OHL season was completed.

A Richmond Hill, Ontario native, Della Rovere spent his last four seasons with Barrie, playing in 230 games, registering 138 points (65 goals, 73 assists) and 479 penalty minutes.

In the end, the Blues chose Janssen over King -- two of the premier enforcers in the game today. What may have been the deciding factor for the Blues is King has had a history of injuries and has been limited to 13 games over the past two seasons. King spent four seasons with the Blues, playing in 101 games.

Janssen, 26, a native of Eureka, Mo., was also a restricted free agent and resigned with the Blues for one-year and $600,000.

King and Janssen, close friends on and off the ice, were known to have sparring sessions at practice over the last couple seasons. They may get the chance to square off for real now. Washington visits St. Louis on Dec. 1 and the Blues pay a return trip to the nation's capital on March 3.

* NOTES -- Former Blues assistant coach and Peoria Rivermen head coach Rick Wamsley on Wednesday was named goaltending coach for the Ottawa Senators. Wamsley was with the Blues for four seasons but was moved to Peoria to coach the Rivermen after the Blues fired Andy Murray and named Davis Payne the team's head coach Jan. 2. Wamsley was fired by the organization after Peoria missed the playoffs. ... Della Rovere, who is projected to play in Peoria this season, was coached by current Rivermen assistant coach Drake Berehowsky for two seasons in Barrie, where Berehowsky served in the same role.

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