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Blues acquire center Ryan O’Reilly in trade with Sabres

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The Blues now have three competent centers for their top nine.

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

This was a pleasant Sunday evening surprise:

So now the Blues have Brayden Schenn, Ryan O’Reilly, and Tyler Bozak up the middle centering their top nine. The team went from having one competent center to having three over the course of one day. Doug Armstrong appears to have redeemed himself with one trade.

And what goes back to Buffalo?

Losing another first round pick is steep, but sending Tage Thompson, who was less than impressive last season is far better than what Sabres fans wanted (namely, Robert Thomas). Also, by including both Patrik Berglund and Vladimir Sobotka it opens up space for young players (Bozak’s acquisition made Berglund redundant) and it also freed up a $3,500,000 hit in Sobotka’s salary and $3,850,00 from Berglund. Considering ROR gets paid $7.5 million a season for five more seasons, that money absolutely had to go back in the deal.

O’Reilly had 24 goals and 37 assists last season on a team that finished last place in the NHL. He scored 23 of those points on the power play, so his presence should go a long way to repairing that dismal special team.