“What about David Perron from St. Louis via trade? I like it but again I don’t see it happening.” – Oil On Whyte, July 10
Prepare thyself, Edmonton Oilers blog, because it totally happened.
After vowing that the Oilers’ young forwards weren’t untouchable in his effort to shake up the roster, GM Craig MacTavish sent left wing Magnus Paajarvi and a 2014 second-round pick to the St. Louis Blues for left wing David Perron, a 6-year NHL veteran who had 25 points in 48 games last season after 42 in 57 in the previous campaign.
It’s a trade that points to the Blues’ glut of contracts and the Oilers’ glut of talented young forwards.
The Blues needed to shed salary, with both Alex Pietragenlo and Chris Stewart yet to sign as restricted free agents (along with stellar rookie goalie Jake Allen). Perron has a $3,812,500 cap hit through 2016, and his actual salary rises to a contract high of $4.5 million in that final year.
Paajarvi is a restricted free agent, but with 24 points in 83 games over the last two seasons, he’s not exactly going to break the bank. It's a cost savings move, and could be a lateral one statistically if Paajarvi continues to develop.
Perron is a 20-goal/50-point player in the NHL, and will slot in at No. 2 left wing for the Oilers. It’ll be interesting to see what those numbers look like in 82 games with Gagner and Yakupov, with some power play time tossed in. Provided he plays 82 games. He's got his flaws, never realized his potential with the Blues -- of course, that season lost to a concussion'll do that -- but he's an upgrade to Oilers' top six in the short term.
Paajarvi's the one that will determine the success or failure of this trade, ultimately, for the Blues. He showed flashes of his potential last season. He’s got tons of upside, and it’ll be intriguing to see how his speed is utilized in Ken Hitchcock’s system (and how he rounds out as a player in that system).
But the Oilers got the better player in the deal right now, which should be the priority for MacTavish as he tries to pivot this group into a playoff team.
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