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Ryan Reaves traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins

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This explains the expansion draft protection.

St Louis Blues v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

There was some head scratching when it was announced that the Blues elected to protect Ryan Reaves in this week’s expansion draft. It was assumed that this was a move to ensure a locker room presence, some on-ice grit, and as a reward for Reaves’ improved conditioning and play.

Apparently it was to prepare for a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Blues have sent Reaves and the 51st pick to the Pens in exchange for the 31st overall pick (Klim Kostin) and Oskar Sundqvist

The Blues, instead of letting Reaves get drafted for nothing, got assets in return. Of course, they could’ve let him get drafted by the Golden Knights and could’ve kept David Perron and his regular-season offensive output and had the increased scoring of Brayden Schenn on top of it.

Oskar Sundqvist was a third round selection of the Penguins, 81st overall, in the 2012 NHL Draft. He has two NHL playoff games under his belt and played 10 games with the Pens this season.

The Blues lose Reaves’ $1,125,000 salary and gain Sundqvist’s $700,833 salary.

Congrats on your future Stanley Cup, Ryan.