To many, it seemed clear that the St. Louis Blues sent David Perron to the Edmonton Oilers for Magnus Paajarvi and a second-round pick to clear cap space. General managers rarely admit so much, but even with that in mind, both executives provided insight that was more interesting than the usual PR spiel on Wednesday.
For one thing, Blues GM Doug Armstrong gave some interesting reasons why this might not be a mere salary dump.
Armstrong indicated that St. Louis possesses multiple players with Perron’s skills, while Paajarvi combination of size and speed makes him different. He said that the 22-year-old’s game is “evolving” and noted his belief that “size matters” in the NHL.
“Our team is built on balance, and we think he can come in here and provide an element we don’t have right now,” Armstrong said.
Oilers GM Craig MacTavish could have pointed to one of Perron’s highlight reel goals to explain the move, but he instead dropped a word many wouldn’t have expected: analytics, as Inside Sports’ Dan Tencer reports.
“It’ll be a good test for our analytics guys. They have him with some of the game’s elite,” MacTavish said. “He’s right up there with controlling the play and shots for and against differential.”
As Armstrong noted during his press conference, it’s possible this trade could be both sides. They’re talking the part, at least.