Fri, Feb 28, 2014 at 7:06pm


The St. Louis Blues acquired goaltender Ryan Miller and forward Steve Ott from the Buffalo Sabres for goaltender Jaroslav Halak, wingers Chris Stewart and William Carrier, a first-round draft pick in 2015 and a conditional third-round draft pick in 2016.

What does it give the St. Louis Blues
This is the first major shoe to drop before this year's trade deadline, and the Blues just got quite a bit better by landing Miller and Ott. Miller upgrades the team's goaltending position, while Ott reunites with coach Ken Hitchcock (one of his coaches in Dallas) and adds even more grit, feistiness, agitating qualities and two-way acumen. Both players are pending unrestricted free agents, but St. Louis is clearly in win-now mode and is preparing for battle with the likes of Chicago and LA.

What does it give the Buffalo Sabres
This is a very good first trade for new Sabres GM {B Tim Murray}, who gets a quality scoring winger in Stewart, a big winger with upside in Carrier, a first rounder in a deep 2015 draft and a conditional pick (which could turn into a first rounder in 2016). He also gets Halak, who is a pending UFA and might wind up elsewhere before the March 5 trade deadline. In fact, Stewart (a potential UFA in 2015) might also be moved. Murray is not quite done here but this is a very good start for Buffalo.

Fantasy impact
Miller's short-term fantasy value skyrockets by moving from Buffalo (one of the worst teams in the NHL) to St. Louis (one of the best defensively). Obviously, Halak's value goes in the opposite direction. Both may not be long for their current situations, however, since both may still end up testing the free-agent waters this summer. Stewart could become a much bigger fantasy player if he gets quality ice time with the Sabres (and he should). Carrier has a chance to move up the Sabres' depth chart a lot more easily than if he had he stayed with the Blues, so his keeper-league value is also on the rise.

Player focus

Buffalo Sabres

Jaroslav Halak G

Chris Stewart RW

a first-round draft pick in 2015

William Carrier LW

a conditional third-round draft pick in 2016