GM Doug Armstrong was willing to take the chance. The Blues traded forward 19-year-old Maxim Letunov for Michalek and a conditional third-round pick. Michalek hasn’t played since Feb. 14 due to an “upper body injury” that sounds like a concussion.
According to Bob McKenzie, there's a condition on the pick on whether or not Michalek plays this season. The Coyotes also retain half of his salary, the third and last player they could trade and do so this season after the Antoine Vermette and Keith Yandle trades.
“He’s well on the road to recovery and there is significant interest in his services,” said GM Don Maloney on his conference call on Sunday night, and there was.
Michalek was a positive possession player for a terrible Coyotes team this season. He’s best known for his shot-blocking prowess, but he also plays 3:08 per game shorthanded, playing the second-most ice time shorthanded for Arizona this season. The Blues are 18th on the kill this season (81 percent), that that’ll help.
If Michalek can come back healthy, this is a strong addition for their defensive depth behind the Bouwmeester/Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk/Gunnarsson pairings.
So, on the Milbury Scale:
TWO MILBURYS. Letunov is a long, long range prospect: Offensively gifted, but just starting at Boston University next fall. We might look back at this trade differently if he achieves his potential. But Michalek, if healthy, is a really nice addition for the Blues.
Here's our Puck Daddy Trade Deadline Mini-Pod on the Michalek trade!