The St. Louis Blues have made another trade as the Vegas Golden Knights acquired forward Ivan Barbashev from the Blues, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger and other NHL insiders. The Golden Knights have traded prospect Zach Dean back to the Blues in exchange for the forward. Dean, 20, was the Golden Knights’ first-round pick in 2021 (No. 30 overall). He has 24 goals and 49 points with Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL this season.
Barbashev was a likely trade candidate ahead of the March 3 deadline. He has 10 goals and 29 points in 59 games this season and is a pending unrestricted free agent carrying a $2.25-million cap hit. The Golden Knights were looking to add to their roster after Mark Stone went down with an injury and a ton of cap space opened up to bring a body or two in.
There were conflicting reports about whether the Blues had informed Barbashev of their intention to trade him weeks ago. His agent denied that the player was told the club had no intention to re-sign him, but it was clear he would be moved if the Blues could find a home for him. St. Louis is clearly retooling/rebuilding after a down season that has been filled with unexpected losses and their coach recently calling out the stars on the team for a lack of effort. Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari were dealt in earlier trades to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Barbashev, 27, had a breakout campaign in 2021-22, tallying 26 goals and 60 points in 81 contests. In 50 career playoff games, he has three goals and nine points. He can play up and down the lineup for Vegas. Considered a playmaking middle-six forward who shoots the puck well but occasionally lacks finish, his defensive issues limit his effectiveness as a top-level center. He is a bit inconsistent at times, he should help the Golden Knights’ offense and offer flexibility to head coach Bruce Cassidy.
As per Darren Dreger, it is worth noting that this deal doesn’t take to the Golden Knights out of the running for San Jose Sharks forward Timo Meier. It is reportedly down to two teams: Vegas and the New Jersey Devils.
Next: Canadiens Trade Evgenii Dadonov to Stars for Denis Gurianov
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