COMMENTARY l When you take a close look at the St. Louis Blues trade with the Buffalo Sabres it’s easy to make a rash decision on who got the better of the deal. The fans need to take a closer look at the pieces involved to really understand the impact of this trade. The repercussions will be felt by both teams for years to come.
The Blues acquired Goalie Ryan Miller. Miller is just getting back from a trip to Sochi, for the Olympics, where he was a backstop for the United States team. He is one of the best goalies in the NHL and has helped lead the Buffalo Sabres for the last twelve years. The biggest issue with Miller is his age and his upcoming Free Agency at the end of the season. Miller won the Vezina trophy (NHLs best Goaltender) in 2010. He is also a two time all-star.
The Blues also recieved Center Steve Ott. Ott has been a very solid player in his career. He is great in the locker room and plays a very hard nosed game. He has never been a real offensive force but is an above average player. He was also the Sabres Captain. Ott has done two tours in Buffalo as well as playing for Dallas. He also will be a Free Agent at the end of the season.
Doug Armstrong (Blues GM) wants to win the Stanley Cup now. He knows he has a great young team and the addition of the two veterans should solidify the team. Both players will be fantasctic short range additions and should help propel the Blues towards the Cup.
The Buffalo Sabres recieved Goaltender Jaroslav Halak who backstopped the Czecks in the Olympics. Halak is a very good Goalie, but has had several injury issues in the past. He has played very little in the last two post-seasons due to injury. He will also be a Free Agent at the end of the season. The Blues felt like they needed a slight upgrade in goal to advance in post-season.
Buffalo also recieved Forward Chris Stewart. Stewart is a very streaky young player that runs hot and cold. When he is on he is very good. Chris shouldn’t have as much pressure in Buffalo and should develop into a solid offensive player. His numbers this year are only slightly better than Otts’ but he has a good career ahead of him.
The Sabres also recieve Forward William Carrier, a 2015 first-round pick and a 2016 conditional pick. This is where the deal takes on a better look for Buffalo. Carrier is really an unknown AHL player. It will take a little time to see what Buffalo has with him. The Sabres have been stocking up on Draft picks. They had acquired a good haul from the New York Islanders in the Thomas Vanek deal.
The St. Louis Blues easily come away from this trade looking like the short term winners. The long term winner looks like the Buffalo Sabres. Both teams came away with what they needed most. We can only watch for the coming years to really determine who got the best deal.