Prospect Niklas Lundstrom, 2016 fifth round pick going to Edmonton
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- With the long-term injury to goalie Brian Elliott, general manager Doug Armstrong said Thursday that the Blues would search for a backup goalie for starter Jake Allen but only if the situation was right.
They apparently have found one, a goalie that they could afford to bring on despite being close to the salary cap ceiling and one they could send to the American Hockey League if/when Elliott returns.
The Blues made official Saturday morning they acquired goalie Anders Nilsson from the Edmonton Oilers for goalie prospect Niklas Lundstrom and a 2016 fifth-round pick.
TSN's Bob McKenzie and Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman first reported the trade late Friday night/early Saturday morning.
Nilsson was expected to be the starter for the Oilers Friday night at Anaheim but was pulled, presumably as talks got close to a deal, which the teams haven't announced as of early Saturday morning.
With Elliott down for a minimum of four weeks after sustaining a lower-body injury last Monday in a loss to San Jose, it shifted Armstrong's gears enough that he would need to at least gauge the market for a backup.
"Well, yes, I think we're obviously going to explore it, but again, I don't want to get into technical parts and bore you, but it has to be a player that can go to the minors when (Elliott) gets back or else we're over the cap," Armstrong said Thursday before the Blues hosted the New York Rangers. "Everything just comes back to having a finite amount of money. When we're healthy and not everybody is on LTI (long-term injury), everybody's salaries have to fit into the cap. Guys have to go to the minors when we get healthy, that's just the way it is. I'm actually looking at it as a positive thing. I'd love to have to make a hard decision on sending guys down because we have too many healthy bodies."
Nilsson, who is 10-12-2 with a 3.14 goals-against average and .901 save percentage with the Oilers this season, has a 19-21-4 career record with a 3.10 GAA and .900 save percentage with the Oilers and New York Islanders.
Nilsson, 25, was drafted in the third round of the 2009 NHL Draft by the Islanders. He has a cap hit of $1 million this season, but after the Blues are likely to assign Pheonix Copley to the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League, they'll be on the hook for somewhere between $200,000-$300,000 of Nilsson's remaining cap assuming no salary was kept on the part of the Oilers, which in this case would be unlikely.
Lundstrom, 23, was selected by the Blues in the fifth round of the 2011 NHL Draft; he spent this season with the Elmira Jackals of the East Coast Hockey League and played four games with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League.