The Blues had been gearing toward Michalek for some time now, even though he’s been missing time with an upper body injury. The odds are that he’ll be back in business by the post-season, but it’s still a slight roll of the dice for the Blues.
Arizona general manager Don Maloney had reported “significant interest” in Michalek just a few days ago and made no bones about wanting to ship him off. One could even consider the Coyotes as having a veritable fire sale, what with Antoine Vermette and Keith Yandle having been sent off in a matter of two days.
“The injury does not help the process, but I wouldn’t say it hurts,” Maloney said on Saturday. “He’s well on the road to recovery and there is significant interest in his services.”
That significant interest has now come to fruition and the Blues will have a quality player on hand when he’s healthy. Michalek carries a cap hit of $4 million and is signed through the 2014-2015 season.
Michalek has eight points in 52 games this season in Arizona and had played with the Coyotes on two separate occasions. His best NHL season came in 2006-2007 when he posted 28 points in 82 games.
Michalek is mostly known for shot blocking and defensive capabilities, so he should add some padding to the Blues’ group. He’s not a major blockbuster pick-up, of course, but he could be a third-pair defenceman if St. Louis expects to hold on to him past the summer. Right now, he’s a rental and an uncertain one thanks to that injury.
In exchange for Michalek and a conditional draft pick that’s expected to cover the injury gambit, the Coyotes receive Russian prospect Maxim Letunov. That’s a good move, as they weren’t likely to get anything else for him with summer approaching and Letunov has significant upside.
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