A little commentary on the trades. First we will start with the moves that weren't made. First, we will address getting rid of Rucinsky. Honestly, I am sure they tried but just couldn't find anyone willing to give up much for him, especially since he is a FA at the end of the season, teams knew that unless they thought he was a missing piece to a playoff run, he could be had for free. The other non-trade was McKee. In this trade, the only team I heard mentioned as showing serious interest was Pittsburgh, but I think they got rid of everything they were willing to trade for Hossa, so they had nothing left to give us.
Now onto the trades that were, first we will start with Backman. In my opinion this was pure salary dump. He had a two big contract, and he wasn't living up to it in a lot of people's minds. The Blues will need money for Brad Boyes over the summer, as well as a free agent or two. They have plenty of good young defensemen such as Steve Wagner, Jeff Woywitka, and Roman Polak that can come up and be just as effective within a season, so they got what they could for him.
Now for the big one, the Salvador trade. This was upsetting since Bryce is a solid player who has been here for 10 years. He plays hard and is incredibly reliable and is a fan favorite so he will be missed. What makes this sting a little more is in a lot of people's eyes, we did not get what we think is an equal return. However, I think people have to keep a few things in mind. 1) Sal is a UFA at the end of the year, in other words he could very well be a rental player and fewer and fewer teams are willing to give up a lot for rental players. 2) While Sal is a solid player he is not a superstar, I don't know what people expected to get for a non-superstar rental and while Cam Janssen may be more of the same of the grinders, he could very well be all that we could get for a player a team thought they may only have for 3 months.
Finally, onto the new kid. Yes, we already have lots of these 4th line grinders, but I think this move was made with the future in mind in terms of we will probably be letting some of our current fourth and third liners go at the end of this season/during next season. Hinote is probably going to be let go, Jamal Mayers may be traded at the deadline next year (I believe his contract is up after next season), Ryan Johnson is still up in the air, Mike Johnson will probably be gone, Martin Rucinsky might be gone, so we need to replace these 4th liners with people. This kid is only 23 years old, with the right coaching, who knows how good he can be (I'm in no way insinuating he will be an all star, but if he ends up playing like Hinote for 1/4th the price, I would be happy with that). Let's not kid ourselves, we are probably not going to make the playoffs this year. Even though we only are a handful of points out, there are a lot of teams in front of us. We will need to put together a 10-1-1 type of stretch, and that is something we haven't done all year. We may as well start getting ready for free agency by moving around salary, and get ourselves set up for the next few seasons.