Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thoughts on Shatty/Stewart/Johnson


Late to the game in offering my thoughts on the huge deal that went down early (EARLY) Saturday morning.
St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced Saturday the club has acquired former first round draft choices Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk along with a conditional 2011 or 2012 second round draft choice from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Erik Johnson, Jay McClement and a conditional 2011 or 2012 first round draft choice.
A lot of what I has been reading sounds like this:

-Erik Johnson = A big blueliner (which the Avs desperately need) who hasn't QUITE lived up to the billing of what a #1 pick should be. Still, he's a legitimate #1 defender and is still pretty young.

-Kevin Shattenkirk = Nice offense, but plays suspect D. We have guys like him (Stefan Elliott) in the system and he's part of the cost of picking up a guy like Johnson.

-Chris Stewart = Occasionally lazy, sometimes appears to have a bad attitude on the ice, becomes invisible on some nights.

And then on Twitter yesterday, a couple people pointed out to me that the Avs are getting a first round pick out of this. Eh....ok.

What happened to Shattenkirk being a franchise defenseman? A guy we were nicknaming "Captain Kirk?" A couple months ago, we were talking Calder. Now we're talking about his spotty defensive play? We KNEW that was the aspect of his game that he had to work on the most. What happened to teaching young players how to improve themselves? Johnson is an upgrade from Shattenkirk on the blueline (probably), but I'm not a fan of (essentially) giving up on young players. First Cohen, now Shattenkirk. Hopefully Gaunce doesn't think he's next.

As for Stewart, he's a fan favorite. For a team that NEEDS to market its stars, it's trading away an awful lot of its character. Anderson, now Stewart. As Adrian Dater said in his blog yesterday, this is a guy who could score forty goals on day. He was touted as the power forward that the Avs have been missing since Adam Deadmarsh. No, he hasn't been the same since he broke his hand earlier this season. But who on the Avs has been playing well at all? Who is going to play wing for this team? Obviously this season is done (4-0 loss to San Jose last night - Budaj in goal) and more trades are bound to come, setting the Avs up for what is going to be a crucial offseason, but it's still tough to realize that there are more than twenty games left to play.

Most pundits (that I've read) are declaring this a small win for the Avs. I'm still not sure. If Johnson pans out to be that dominating #1 defender, and the Avs are able to sign a big-time scorer in free agency then I'll declare it a win. Otherwise, I feel as though the Avs took a step back in this deal.

Side Notes

Last Night:

Anderson - 47 Saves / 47 Shots (1-0 OT win, NHL.com 2nd star)

Stewart - 2 G, 0 A (9-3 win, NHL.com 3rd star)

Un-freaking-believable.

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