ST. LOUIS -- The Blues made a move to bolster their blueline on Tuesday, acquiring defenseman Marco Scandella from Montreal in exchange for two draft picks.
The Blues gave up their second-round pick in 2020 and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2021. Montreal will get that pick if Scandella re-signs with the Blues or the Blues play at least two rounds in the playoffs and Scandella appears in at least half the games. In addition, Montreal will pay half of Scandella's $4 million salary.
In conjunction with the move, the team sent defenseman Niko Mikkola back to San Antonio and placed Jay Bouwmeester on long-term injured reserve.
Scandella will fit in well with the Blues. He's 6-3 and plays a physical game.
The Blues will be Scandella's third team this season. He started the season in Buffalo, was traded to Montreal on Jan. 2 for a fourth-round pick and now comes to the Blues.
This season, he has four goals and eight assists in 51 games. He figures to help the Blues on their penalty kill.
This is Scandella's 10th season in the NHL, mostly spent with Minnesota. He was traded to Buffalo after the 2016-17 season. He is in the final year of a five-year $20 million contract and will be an unrestricted free agent after the season.
The trade came shortly after Brenden Dillon of San Jose, considered another candidate for the Blues, was traded to Washington for two draft picks.
The Blues looked set at defense a week ago, but after Bouwmeester's heart episode last week in Anaheim, the team was down to two left-handed defensemen. Mikkola was called up from San Antonio, but the Blues clearly wanted more experience on that side as they enter the stretch run.
The NHL trade deadline is next Monday. The Blues could still be in the market for forward help, but talk about Chris Kreider of the Rangers, the top forward on the market, now centers around Colorado and Boston. Kreider could also re-sign with New York.
By putting Bouwmeester on LTIR, the Blues free up $3.25 million of cap space. If neither he nor Vladimir Tarasenko return in the regular season, the Blues have just $8 million of cap space to work with at the deadline if they're in the market for someone else. If either returns in the regular season, they would lose the equivalent of their salary.
Bouwmeester will miss at least 10 games and 24 days on LTIR. Bouwmeester's playing future remains in doubt after his heart episode, which led to a defibrillator being installed in his chest.
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