Defenseman, AHL goalie Copley dealt to Capitals for 2017 first-round pick,
2019 conditional second-round pick, forwards Zach Sanford, Brad Malone
ST. LOUIS -- To trade or not to trade. That's been the challenge facing the Blues and soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Kevin Shattenkirk.
That answer came down Monday night when the Blues dealt their offensive defenseman along with minor league goalie Pheonix Copley to the Washington Capitals in a packed return of a first-round pick in 2017, a conditional second-round pick in 2019, center Zach Sanford and minor league wing Brad Malone.
|(St. Louis Blues photo)|
Kevin Shattenkirk was traded to the Washington Capitals
As Shattenkirk, 28, continued to put up impressive offensive numbers moving along, Shattenkirk became the top rental moving into the NHL Trade Deadline, which comes to a conclusion at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
With Shattenkirk's four-year, $17 million contract expiring June 30, the Blues have been dealing with the notion of whether they could afford to resign Shattenkirk to what is believed to be around a $7 million average annual value for up to 7-8 seasons.
The answer apparently is no.
So as early as last summer at the NHL Draft, as was reported here, the Blues and Edmonton Oilers engaged in talks regarding Shattenkirk at that time, and it was reported here that the Blues inquired about Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle, and Edmonton would have entertained an offer for either or under the condition Shattenkirk, who had one year remaining on his current deal, signed an extension, but that was never even an option, so the Oilers moved elsewhere and traded Hall to New Jersey for Adam Larsson.
Another option was the Detroit Red Wings, and the Blues allegedly inquired about the availability of young forward Dylan Larkin, to which Detroit said no.
Shattenkirk's name had been linked in rumors with Tampa Bay, the New York Rangers, Boston, Toronto, Washington and Pittsburgh.
So Shattenkirk, who has 11 goals and 31 assists in 61 games this season, moves onto the Capitals, who are first overall in the NHL and reunites with former Blues teammate T.J. Oshie along with weapons like Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetzov, among others.
"We are excited to welcome Kevin to our organization," Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said in a statement. "We felt it was important to acquire another defenseman to strengthen and add depth to our blueline. Kevin is a skilled, puck-moving defenseman who we think will help our team at even strength and on the power play. In addition, we are also pleased to welcome Pheonix back to the organization. We feel his addition solidifies our goaltending tandem in Hershey."
The conditions for the second-round pick in 2019 include Shattenkirk resigning with the Capitals or if Washington advances to the Eastern Conference Final and he plays in 50 percent of the Capitals' first two rounds in the playoffs, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie.
ESPN's Craig Custance reported that the Blues will retain 39 percent of Shattenkirk's remaining salary this season.
Blues GM Doug Armstrong will address the media at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Scottrade Center before the Blues, who hold the second wildcard in the Western Conference by two points, face the Edmonton Oilers later tonight.
Shattenkirk is expected to make his Capitals debut Tuesday against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Blues teammate Scottie Upshall posted a tweet Monday night that read, "Best of luck bro! You will feed 'Ovi' so many perfect one timers, he will need offseason shoulder surgery! Go get em pal!"
Sanford, 22, was Washington’s second-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft. Hes 6-foot-4, 203-pounds and has played 26 games with the Capitals this season and has two goals and one assist.
|(St. Louis Blues photo)|
Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (right) played his final Blues game on
Sunday night against Jonathan Toews (left) and the Chicago Blackhawks.
Malone, 27, has dressed in 52 games for the Hershey Bears of the AHL this season and has 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists). The 6-1, 210-pound forward has appeared in 176 career NHL games, including stints with Carolina and Colorado, recording 30 points (13 goals, 17 assists)
Copley is headed back to the Capitals after the Blues acquired him along with Troy Brouwer in the summer of 2015 for Oshie.
Shattenkirk leaves the Blues with 59 goals and 199 assists in 425 career regular season games.