Avs, Blues make late-night deal
In a trade between struggling teams in the Western Conference, the Colorado Avalanche acquired 2006 No. 1 pick Erik Johnson and Jay McClement from the St. Louis Blues for Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk.
The Avs, who dropped nine straight before Saturday night’s game with San Jose, also received a first-round pick in 2011 or 2012. Colorado will surrender a conditional second-round selection in 2011 or 2012 in the deal announced early Saturday.
Both teams also swung trades Friday as they shook up their rosters.
Colorado exchanged one struggling goalie for another, acquiring Brian Elliott from the Ottawa Senators for Craig Anderson. The Blues sent defenseman Eric Brewer to the Tampa Bay Lightning for defenseman Brock Beukeboom, an unsigned draft pick, and a third-round pick in 2011.
The 6-foot-4 Johnson, who missed the 2008-09 season because of a knee injury, is a rugged defenseman who has five goals and 14 assists in 55 games this season. Johnson also helped the U.S. to a silver medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
”We are excited to be adding a top young defenseman in this league, a player who will have an impact on our blue line for several years to come,” Avalanche general manager Greg Sherman said in a statement.
McClement has spent his entire career with the Blues organization, playing in 449 games. The 27-year-old forward has six goals and 10 assists this season in 56 games.
”Jay McClement brings six years of NHL experience and will complement our young hockey club. He will also have an important role on our penalty killing unit,” Sherman said.
Stewart was regarded as one of the cornerstones of Colorado’s youth movement. The Avalanche signed him to a two-year deal last September after he scored a team-leading 28 goals in the 2009-10 season.
But the 23-year-old forward has been hampered after breaking his left hand on Nov. 27 in a skirmish with Minnesota’s Kyle Brodziak. Stewart missed 21 games and hasn’t been the same since his return on Jan. 14, scoring just two goals.
Stewart has been at his best against St. Louis with eight goals and 15 points in nine career games.
”Any time you add somebody it’s exciting for guys,” Blues forward Brad Boyes said. ”Stewart, I think he has half his career points against us, so that’s a good sign.”
Shattenkirk made his debut on Nov. 4 against Vancouver. He became the NHL’s second rookie defenseman with a point streak of at least nine games, joining Barry Beck, who had two 10-game runs while with the Colorado Rockies during the 1977-78 season.
The 22-year-old Shattenkirk was a first-round pick of the Avs in 2007. He has seven goals and 19 assists this season. He also was invited to take part in the skills competition during All-Star weekend.
”I think we’ve added a power forward that we’ve coveted for a while,” Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. ”I think that it’s a difficult animal to find and to capture.
”It cost us two excellent players, but by gaining that player I also think we protected ourselves by bringing Shattenkirk in, a very good puck-moving defensemen.”