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s16 - Howlin' For You (®)

2020-10-15

SASKATOON, SK -- The St.Louis Blues have traded star forward Peter Forsberg to the Saskatoon Wolves.

Heading back to St.Louis are forwards Michel Ouellet and Mike Craig along with a conditional second-round pick based on whether Forsberg signs an extension to stay in Saskatoon.

Ouellet, 24, has suited up for 50 games for the AHL’s Scottsdale Hatters this season, posting 23 goals and 44 points in that span. He has four total appearances this season with the Wolves where he has scored a pair of goals and has a career 73 games played between the Minnesota Wild and Saskatoon where he has amassed five goals and nine points. 

Forsberg, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2005-06 season, has been rumoured to be on the move for about a week. Despite their continued battle for top spot in the Central division, the Blues have been very active in the trade market over the past week, most recently sending goaltender Antero Niittymaki to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for Marty Turco and defender Rob Scuderi to the Washington Capitals for Kristian Huselius.

To date, St.Louis has jettisoned defenders Kenny Jonsson, Scuderi, Kimmo Timonen; forwards Pavol Demitra, Andy McDonald, Igor Radulov, Marty Reasoner, Dave Capuano, Forsberg, Anson Carter, Shawn Bates, Bob Joyce, Stephane Morin, Greg Johnson, Eric Belanger, Todd Bertuzzi and goaltender Niittymaki.  Adding more intrigue if even possible, the Blues also had a deal completed in principal in which superstar goaltender Pekka Rinne was on his way to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Mike Smith. 

The 33-year-old Forsberg has 12 goals and 28 points through 44 games so far this season split between stops in Vancouver and St.Louis. Coming off a career year last season while with the New York Islanders where he set career highs in goals (31) and points (88), the Swede has been admittedly “off his game”.

“It’s been a tough year no doubt,” he said. “Being traded from Vancouver was completely unexpected.  I really thought I had a chance to stay with them for a while.  Then to arrive in St.Louis and get off to the start we did, I felt like I was in a good situation.  Then the trading started.  Hopefully my time here (in Saskatoon) will be a bit longer.”

Craig, 35, is in the final year of his contract that pays him $3.060 million.  Claimed on waivers by the Wolves from the Calgary Flames, the veteran sits a mere eight games from the 1,000 games mark.  Initially brought in by Saskatoon to facilitate an opening on the club’s top-six, it became quickly apparent that a 3rd line role was likely more realistically in the cards.  For Saskatoon the thought of paying 3-million for a bottom six forward was too much to balance and thus the potential for trade was probable.  With the influx of change in the St.Louis organization, there’s a much stronger likelihood that the aging veteran could be afforded a better opportunity to show his worth than he was given with the Wolves.

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