It wasn’t a surprise when forward David Perron found himself traded on Wednesday, as the St. Louis Blues were in need of the cap space. The surprise came when it was the Edmonton Oilers that acquired him, sending Magnus Paajarvi and a second round pick to the Blues in exchange for the 25-year-old.
It’s a puzzling move on the part of the Oilers, who didn’t necessarily need another player in the mold of Perron. What was expected was that they’d go out and look for help on defense, or for a sizable forward to play out on the wing. Instead, they ended up with Perron, and parted with a player with good upside to get him.
Trading for Perron is obviously the first puzzling part of the move. He had a disappointing season last year, despite remaining completely healthy for the first time in a couple of seasons. His checkered injury history, with concussions in particular, makes him something of a health concern.
Then there’s the matter of trading Paajarvi. A restricted free agent, Paajarvi had finally shown signs of breaking out for the Oilers, and may have thrived under a new coaching staff. He had used his size effectively towards the end of last year, and is a solid presence in the corners and down in front of the net.
He’ll be a solid addition to the Blues’ bottom six, especially if he can find a scoring touch. He alone would be an impressive return for Perron, when comparing the upside of the two, but the second round pick just makes this an extreme overpayment on the part of the Oilers, for a player they didn’t necessarily need.
Perhaps Craig MacTavish has more up his sleeve this summer. It’ll be interesting to see how the lines shake out now with Perron in the mix, as well as whether or not the Oilers will add more size to their lineup, especially since they just got smaller in moving Paajarvi. At this point, it’s easy to label this trade a loss for the Oilers, but we’ll see how it works out in the long term.