Monday, February 28, 2011

Winchester traded to Anaheim for 2012 third-round pick

Blues deal fifth regular from lineup in last 11
days, recall Reaves, Porter; McRae placed on IR

ST. LOUIS -- The Blues made one final alteration to its 2020-11 roster on the final day in which NHL teams can wheel and deal.

A day after sending Brad Boyes to Buffalo for a 2011 second-round pick, the Blues traded winger Brad Winchester to the Anaheim Ducks for a 2012 third-round pick.

Winchester, who turns 30 today, is making $700,000 on a one-year contract and is set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

So with Monday at 2 p.m. central time being the NHL trade deadline, the Blues -- in the last 11 days -- have parted ways with five regulars. Two of them are set to become unrestricted free agents, three of them will have one year remaining on their respective contracts along with a conditional No. 1 pick this year or in 2012.

The dealing began on Feb. 18 with the trade of captain Eric Brewer to the Tampa Bay Lightning for the rights to defenseman Brock Beukeboom and a 2011 third-round pick.

Then came the blockbuster of this NHL trading in the early hours of Feb. 19 after the Brewer trade when the Blues sent 2006 No. 1 overall pick Erik Johnson and center Jay McClement along with a conditional 2011 or 2012 No. 1 pick to the Colorado Avalanche for power forward Chris Stewart, defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and a conditional 2011 or 2012 No. 2 pick.

The Blues then dealt Boyes to the Sabres after the team fell 1-0 at Calgary on Sunday night before dealing Winchester in the final hour of deadline day on Monday.

In all, the Blues, who had one of the smallest team payrolls in the game, purged $8.5 million in salaries that are due to Boyes ($4 million), Johnson ($3 million) and McClement ($1.5 million) next season, along with Brewer's $4.5 million and Winchester's $700,000. Both of those players will be unrestricted free agents this summer.

It's a total of $13.7 million come off the books for next season, but the team will need to factor in pay raises to restricted free agents such as T.J. Oshie, Patrik Berglund, Roman Polak, Vladimir Sobotka, Nikita Nikitin, Ben Bishop, Matt D'Agostini, B.J. Crombeen, among others. The team will likely not keep all their restricted free agents but the majority will get qualifying offers and/or multi-year extensions.

Also on Monday, the Blues learned that goalie Ty Conklin cleared waivers and will remain with the team, at least temporarily.

Conklin, 34, will become an unrestricted free agent after this season. He was placed on waivers Saturday but will continue a tandem with Bishop as Jaroslav Halak (bruised right hand) is not quite ready to be put back on the active roster.

With the shortage at the forward position, the team recalled forwards Ryan Reaves and Chris Porter from Peoria on Monday. It was also not known whether Sobotka (foot) will be ready to play tonight in the rematch against the Flames after blocking a shot off his left foot in the first period of Sunday's loss.

Also, center Philip McRae (knee) has been placed on injured reserve. He injured his knee Thursday night in Vancouver.

Winchester played in 185 games for the Blues and totaled 43 points (25 goals) in three seasons.

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