As my comrade-in-arms Jason wrote on today's "Links" page, your "Game Time" Prospect Department was, in fact, tearing his hair out over the "conditional" draft pick that was offered up to Buffalo in "THE Trade," 2014 Edition.
A long, angry rant was prepared for inclusion in Tuesday's paper, and in this little corner of the 'Net. In it I compared Doug Armstrong to Mike Keenan, accusing Armstrong of pissing away the future of this franchise and trading for one of "his" guys in Ott, the way Keenan became (in)famous for doing while destroying the Blues a generation ago.
Then I read this from Pierre LeBrun at ESPN.com:
There have been a few different explanations of the conditional third-round pick in 2016 that Buffalo got from St. Louis in the Ryan Miller deal.
The full rundown:
If the Blues either re-sign Miller or reach the Western Conference finals, then Buffalo, instead of getting that third-round pick, gets the Blues' first-round pick this June (they have the first-rounder in 2015 from this deal); but St. Louis would then get Minnesota's second-round pick this June (obtained earlier by the Sabres) plus Buffalo's third-round pick this June.
The thinking here for St. Louis is that, although they would be giving up another first, it would be a pick between 27th and 30th overall and they'd be moving back just 15 to 20 slots or so by getting the Wild's second-rounder plus getting an early third-rounder (from Buffalo).
So, under this scenario, the Blues would have three second-round picks this June plus two third-round picks.
That's if they reach the conference finals or re-sign Miller.
If Blues don't advance to the conference finals but sign Miller to an extension after the 2014 draft, the conditional pick becomes a 2016 2nd-round pick.
Suddenly, I'm not quite so angry at Doug Armstrong.
Before this trade, the Blues had a total of four picks between about 25th overall and 90th overall. They had their own first-round pick (which would have been a late pick, 25th overall or lower), Edmonton's second (which right now is 32nd overall), their own second (55th overall or lower), and their own third (85th or lower).
Post-trade, and assuming the Blues make the Western Conference Final and/or re-sign Miller prior to the draft, they will have five picks between 30th and 90th overall: The Edmonton second, Minnesota's second (previously acquired by Buffalo; currently 50th overall), their own second, Buffalo's third (currently 61st overall) and their own third.
And if the Blues fail to make the conference finals and fail to re-sign Miller until after the draft, then they keep their late first-rounder this year; they don't get the Minnesota second and the Buffalo third; and they give up a second-round pick to Buffalo in 2016.
So, best-case scenario... The Blues make the Final Four, triggering the conditions for the pick swap, and they go into the draft with ten picks, as follows (overall position based on standings as of today, Mar. 2, 2014):
|2||32||Acquired from Edmonton in David Perron trade.|
|2||50||Minnesota's pick; acquired from Buffalo in THE Trade.|
|2||58||Blues' own second-round pick|
|3||61||Buffalo's pick; acquired from Buffalo in THE Trade|
|3||88||Blues' own third-round pick|
|4||111||Acquired from Tampa in B.J. Crombeen trade|
|5||124||Acquired from Calgary in Kris Russell trade|
|6||174||Acquired from Boston in Wade Redden trade|
|6||178||Blues' own sixth-round pick|
|7||208||Blues' own seventh-round pick|