Perhaps Peter Stastny is a believer in young NHLer Chris Stewart. Or maybe he just knows a bad trade when he sees one.
Before Stewart's old team, the Colorado Avalanche, beat his St. Louis Blues 4-3 Tuesday night, the father of Avalanche forward Paul Stastny blasted Colorado general manager Greg Sherman for his latest deal.
Late Friday night, the Avalanche shipped Stewart and rookie defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk to the Blues for defenceman Erik Johnson and forward Jay McClement. The swap also included an exchange of conditional draft picks.
"This young team was ready to challenge, almost, for a Stanley Cup this season. All they needed was some more chemistry, and some synergies. Instead, they destroyed the team," the elder Stastny, a Hall of Famer and former member of the Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques organization, told St. Louis radio station KMOX on Tuesday night.
"I mean, that was a one-way deal. [Blues GM Doug] Armstrong will look like a genius. I don't know what they were thinking in the Colorado organization.
"I should not have said this, but I'm so, so mad what they've done to this team. They've moved the team about two to three years back again."
Well, at least Johnson made his presence felt by scoring the go-ahead goal in the third period Tuesday, with Paul Stastny delivering the winner with less than three minutes left in regulation.
Paul might have to approach Johnson on Wednesday if the latter got word of Peter Stastny's words on Tuesday. Good thing the two players are friends and who roomed together with the United States Olympic team at last year's Vancouver Winter Games.
Johnson, a six-foot-four rearguard who missed the 2008-09 season because of a knee injury, is a rugged defenceman with five goals and 19 points in 55 games this season.
McClement has spent his entire career with the Blues organization, playing in 449 games. Prior to the trade, the 27-year-old forward had six goals and 10 assists this season in 56 games.
Stewart was regarded as one of the cornerstones of Colorado's youth movement. The Avalanche signed him to a two-year deal last September after he scored a team-leading 28 goals in the 2009-10 season.
But the 23-year-old forward has been hampered after breaking his left hand on Nov. 27 in a skirmish with Minnesota's Kyle Brodziak. Stewart missed 21 contests and hasn't been the same since his return on Jan. 14, scoring just three goals.
Shattenkirk made his debut on Nov. 4 against Vancouver. He became the NHL's second rookie defenceman with a point streak of at least nine games, joining Barry Beck, who had two 10-game runs while with the Colorado Rockies during the 1977-78 season.
The 22-year-old Shattenkirk was a first-round pick of the Avalanche in 2007. He had seven goals and 19 assists this season before the trade. He also was invited to take part in the skills competition during all-star weekend.