After the tragic injury to Jay Bouwmeester, St. Louis suddenly found themselves in a tight spot on the left side of their defense. GM Doug Armstrong decided to pull the trigger on a deal that he hopes will put an end to his team’s 3-5-2 skid, as he dealt a 2020 2nd round pick and a conditional 4th round pick to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for rental defenseman Marco Scandella. Montreal will get the 4th if Scandella re-signs with the Blues this summer or if the Blues win two playoff rounds where Scandella plays in half the games.
St. Louis will be the 3rd team that Scandella suits up for this season, as he was dealt by the Buffalo Sabres to the Canadiens on January 2nd. Montreal will retain 50% of Scandella’s 1 year, $4 million contract. This move leaves the defending Stanley Cup Champions without a 2nd, 6th, and 7th round pick in the upcoming NHL draft in Montreal. Despite their recent skid, the Blues are still in 1st place in the Central Division with a 33-17-10 record. Scandella is set to play alongside one of the Blues talented right-shot defensemen in Justin Faulk, Colton Parayko, or Captain Alex Pietrangelo.
Despite him playing for two different teams already this season, Scandella is on his way to his first positive AB season since 2015-16. In eight years of data we have on him, Scandella has only registered positive seasons in two of them, and his coming off the worst score of his career at a -6.33 last season. Despite this, his career AB score is still a respectable -1.57 and he has a solid penalty taken/drawn ratio this year at 6:6. His giveaway/takeaway ratio isn’t outstanding at 41:15, but he is +10 with his two teams, which is pretty solid. Due to his trades and playing in multiple systems for multiple different coaches, Scandella is averaging almost three fewer minutes of ice time than his career average of 19:49. With his retained salary, the Blues will only be paying Scandella $2 million for the rest of this season, which is a bargain considering the year he is having. Points wise, he has 12 points combined in 51 games between his time in Buffalo and Montreal. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st.
With their limited amount of remaining cap space following this deal, it is hard for us to see how St. Louis makes another impactful trade before the February 24th deadline. We expect Doug Armstrong to stay put at the deadline and over the next several days but given the fact that he is an excellent general manager, we wouldn’t be surprised if he got creative and found a way to help his team somehow. It’ll be interesting to see if he does have anything else up his sleeve, as the deadline is quickly approaching.