Blackhawks Worst-Case Scenario: Blues Send O’Reilly, Acciari to Toronto in 3-Team Blockbuster
Just when you thought we could go to bed on a Friday night, BOOM an NHL blockbuster trade drops that includes two Central Division rivals of the Blackhawks.
St. Louis has traded centers Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
To make the money work here, St. Louis retains 50 percent and Minnesota took on 25 percent of O’Reilly’s salary as part of the trade.
The Blues just added to an already-impressive haul from the Vlad Tarasenko trade, which got them a conditional first-round pick in 2023 and a fourth-rounder in 2024.
So St. Louis has now added two first-round picks, giving them three in the 2023 NHL Draft. They also added Ottawa’s third-round pick this year and a second-rounder next year.
Gaudette, of course, is a Blackhawks legend. He appeared in 15 games over two seasons with Chicago after the Blackhawks acquired him from Vancouver for Matthew Highmore. Ottawa claimed him off waivers early last season. He has 34 points in 40 games for the Marlies in the AHL this season.
Abramov, 21, was a fourth-round pick by the Leafs in 2019. He has appeared in 100 AHL games and turns 22 in late March.
This is basically the worst-case scenario for the Blackhawks.
The Rangers needed a top-line right wing and Patrick Kane was interested? They get Tarasenko.
The Maple Leafs apparently wanted a middle-six center and a depth center, and could have pursued Jonathan Toews? They get O’Reilly and Acciari. How this deal impacts their ability to add a defenseman (read: Jake McCabe) will be interesting, especially now that they no longer have a first-round pick in 2023 or a second-rounder in 2024.
I really, really hate it when I’m right, but back in November I worried about the Blues undermining the Blackhawks’ trade market(s) for Kane and Toews. And here we are, exactly where I feared we would be two weeks from the deadline.