The St. Louis Blues will host the San Jose Sharks in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Sunday and while longtime Bruins fans will already be paying close attention to Sharks star and former Bruins captain Joe Thornton playing for the right to finally hoist the Stanley Cup, could they also be watching a Blues player that not only could’ve helped their team make the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs and secure their blue line woes for at least the upcoming season?
According to both a Blues source and a well placed NHL source, the Bruins and Blues had a deal in place prior to the NHL trade deadline that would’ve sent Blues and former Boston University defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, a conditional 2016 second or third round pick (depending on how far the Blues advanced in the playoffs or if Eriksson resigned with St. Louis) and another Blues roster player to Boston in exchange for impending unrestricted free agent forward Loui Eriksson and the Sharks’ 2016 first round draft pick that the Bruins acquired in exchange for Martin Jones at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Both these sources claim that the proposed trade never materialized because of the extra salary the Blues wanted the Bruins to take on with another roster player. According to the NHL source, that salary would’ve been more than the $4.25 million Eriksson made this past season. According to both sources, the Bruins nixed the deal because of the Blues requiring they take on extra salary and considering Shattenkirk was already going to carry a $4.2 million cap hit for next season before becoming a UFA on July 1, 2017.
Yours truly tweeted prior to the February 29 trade deadline that the asking price for Eriksson from Boston to St. Louis was a 2016 first round pick and prospect Dmitrij Jaškin and according to the NHL source that was indeed a trade proposal discussed between the clubs but “for whatever reasons” did not get done. This same source also told DirtyWaterSports that both the San Jose Sharks and Florida Panthers had more than exploratory talks regarding Eriksson.
Now before Bruins fans and media jump all over the Bruins for not getting a deal done for a defenseman like Shattenkirk or that they failed to get a return for Eriksson, whom they’re likely going to lose to free agency on July 1, keep in mind that many deals that get discussed but don’t come to fruition at the deadline, get revisited at the draft and in the offseason. Obviously the rights to Eriksson won’t get a player like Shattenkirk back now but the groundwork for the Blues rearguard coming to Boston has apparently at least been formed. It’s also a good sign that the Bruins were as they said in their season-ending press conferences and after the deadline, working hard to not only address the present state of their struggling defense but also the future. It’s likely the most they can get for the rights to Eriksson now is a third round pick but they do have other players they can dangle for Shattenkirk. Needless to say, this will be a very telling draft and offseason coming up for the Bruins.