Fantasy Impact: The Calgary Flames have traded defenseman Jay Bouwmeester to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for prospects Reto Berra, Mark Cundari and a conditional first-round draft pick. The condition being, if the Blues fail to make the playoffs this year that pick becomes a fourth for this summer plus a first in 2014.
The Flames get: lots of cap space, a gritty, hardworking defenseman for their minor-league team, and a goaltender in Berra whom they've identified as one of the two best goalies in the world outside of the NHL. The other goalie being fellow Flames goalie Karri Ramo (read up on Ramo's fantasy profile here)
DobberProspects is working on putting together a scouting report on Berra, though he did get a mention in the ramblings there a few months ago.
The Blues get: a player who has never played a playoff game. Will the curse continue? In all seriousness, J-Bo is as steady as it gets. A reliable 82-game defenseman who eats a lot of minutes, though has been miscast as an offensive blueliner. St. Louis already has puck-movers - and good ones - so his role there will really fit his game.
Fantasy Players Impacted: Bouwmeester's 26+ minutes per game out of the lineup should see Anton Babchuk get in. Babchuk, who is also on the trading block, has shown in the past that he can produce. The added minutes should also help youngster TJ Brodie, who has two points and is minus-9 in his last nine games - the plus/minus won't be helped, but the assist rate should.
In St. Louis I think this really helps Kevin Shattenkirk. He has just nine points in his last 21 games after starting off with 13 in 12. This may be because he's seeing 22 minutes per game with 2:13 of that killing penalties. The arrival of J-Bo will keep Shattenkirk fresh after a penalty kill - because he'll no longer be doing that. I have a suspicion that the production here will return.
In his one game for the Blues, Jordan Leopold played 16:43. He's now a No.6 defenseman on a pretty stacked blue line. The Blues were a better situation for Leopold than the Sabres, but not so much anymore. This will kill his production completely.
Alex Pietrangelo will not be impacted by this in fantasy hockey.
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
1. T.J. Brodie
2. Anton Babchuk
3. Mark Giordano
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
1. Jordan Leopold
2. Kris Russell