The NHL 2014 Trade Deadline may be two days away, but the St. Louis Blues have gone all-in already.
The Blues made a major deal with the Buffalo Sabres Friday, moving Jaroslav Halak, Chris Stewart, prospect William Carrier as well as a first and a third-round draft pick in exchange for goaltender Ryan Miller and centre Steve Ott.
It was a move that put the rest of the league on notice that the St. Louis Blues mean business and could kick off an arms race ahead of Wednesday’s Trade Deadline at 3 p.m. EST.
After news of the trade came down, sharp hockey bettors started piling on the Blues in Sports Interaction’s 2014 Stanley Cup odds. The Blues sat third in the Cup odds before the deal, but are now favored to win this year’s championship at +521, just ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins (+585). The Anaheim Ducks currently sit third on the odds board at +675 while the Chicago Blackhawks check in at +685.
“The thought of getting the grit and determination of player like Steve Ott, and obviously Ryan Miller‘s resume speaks for itself, we think this gives us a better opportunity for success this year,” Blues general manager Doug Armstrong told reporters.
Miller started his first game for the Blues Sunday and earned a 4-2 victory over Phoenix. He made 23 saves for St. Louis.
“I was pretty anxious and nervous all day,” Miller told reporters. “It’s a new group of guys and you want to show them what you’ve got and let them know you’re there for them.”
The Blues are back in action Tuesday when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning.