The first bombshell of the NHL trade season hit late Friday as the St. Louis Blues acquired goaltender Ryan Miller and forward Steve Ott from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Jaroslav Halak, Chris Stewart, prospect William Carrier, a first-round draft pick in 2015 and a third-round draft pick in 2016.
Ott, 31, who had been on many fans’ short list of potential trade targets for the Blackhawks; he has nine goals and 11 assists in 59 games.
Miller, 33, was open about his willingness to be dealt out of Buffalo to help the rebuild. He had long been rumored to be on his way to St. Louis, and Friday that became reality. Miller will join TJ Oshie and David Backes, teammates with the USA team in Sochi, in St. Louis.
Both players will be unrestricted free agents this summer.
Stewart, 26, has one season left on his contract at $4.125M and has 15 goals, 11 assists and 112 penalty minutes in 58 games this season.
Halak will be an unrestricted free agent this summer as well, and had fallen out of favor in St. Louis. The 28-year-old netminder has a .917 save percentage this season with the Blues.
Carrier, a 19-year-old forward, was a second round pick by the Blues in 2013 and has five goals and 10 assists in 20 games with Drummondville in the QMJHL after a mid-season trade. He started the season with Cape Breton, where he posted 41 points (12 goals, 29 assists) in 39 games.