In the first semi-major trade of the season that will actually have a significant impact on both teams, the Maple Leafs acquired the white-hot Lee Stempniak from the St. Louis Blues for Alex Steen and Carlo Colaiacovo.
As mentioned in this week’s WWL, Ron Wilson was disenchanted of Colaiacovo’s lack of fitness, and the Leafs in general had to be unhappy with Steen’s 2-2-4 line through 20 games. Steen’s never scored less than 15 goals in his career and right now he’s on pace for about eight. Colaiacovo has one point in 10 games and is currently injured. Both are signed for next year.
It was also a good move by Toronto to get Stempniak, who has 13 points in 14 games this year and 12 in his last seven, for almost nothing. St. Louis made the deal, I suspect, simply because it needed warm bodies to fill out the lineup every night. There’s no other reason to trade a player as good as Stempniak, who scored 27-25-52 two years ago and is playing at almost a point-a-game pace. The move also clears up about half a million in cap space for the Leafs.
Phenomenal move for Toronto on all fronts, and an understandable one for St. Louis.