ST. PAUL, MINN. • The National Hockey League's trade deadline has come and gone for the Blues, who shipped center Paul Stastny to the Winnipeg Jets.
The Blues will receive a conditional first-round pick for Stastny in 2018, a conditional fourth-round pick in 2020, and prospect Erik Foley from the Jets.
"Two or three weeks ago I didn't envision this being an option today," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. "We were, I don't want to say comfortably in (the playoffs), but we were in the top portion of our conference and our division, and the last couple of weeks we haven't played to a level that kept us there."
A six-game losing streak (0-5-1) turned the Blues from buyers into sellers at the deadline.
"I started to look at what was best for us moving forward," Armstrong said. "I talked to Paul on Thursday and said, 'I hope that we play well on Friday and Sunday and this isn't an issue, but if we don't turn it around, I have to do my job also.'
"And he was a pro about it and he understood. We didn't have the results we needed on Friday and Sunday, so an opportunity came to gain two valuable assets in a first-round pick and a young prospect, and we decided to go that direction."
The "conditions" on the draft picks are as follows.
• If the Jets end up picking in the top three overall in the 2018 draft, the Blues' get Winnipeg's first-round pick in 2019 instead. But with the Jets among the NHL's elite teams, currently with 83 points, that won't happen. So the Blues will get the first-rounder this year. That's an important piece of the trade, because the Blues don't have their original first-rounder in the upcoming draft — it goes to Philadelphia as the final part of the Brayden Schenn trade.
• The Blues get the fourth-rounder only if they fail to sign Foley on or before Aug. 15, 2019. They hold his contract rights until then.
The Stastny trade fueled speculation that the Blues might make another move _ or moves _ Monday, but the trade deadline passed at 2 p.m. Central with the team making no additional moves.
"Obviously, it's a difficult day losing a friend and a teammate like Stas," coach Mike Yeo said. "But I can tell you, and no excuses on our part, but this (trade deadline) has been weighing on a lot of people for a period of time here. And now we can say this is our group, this is our team, now let's get after it."
As of Monday afternoon, Yeo said he was still mulling over line combinations without Stastny and wouldn't reveal them until Tuesday. (The Blues play Minnesota here in a 7 p.m. faceoff Tuesday.)
A lefthanded-shooting forward, Foley was a third-round pick by Winnipeg, No. 78 overall, in 2015. He currently plays for Providence College, where he has 15 goals and 19 assists in 32 games this season.
Foley, 20, was a teammate of current Blue Tage Thompson on the Team USA gold medal team in the 2017 World Junior championships. He's a native of Mansfield, Mass.
"Foley is a very good skating player," Armstrong said. "He played for the U.S. National team at the World Junior. He's a point-a-game player the last two years at Providence. Someone that again, as the game progresses where skating is imperative, he's a good skater. Brings another element to our group like that."
Stastny, 32, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after this season. One of only four Blues to play in all 63 games this season, the Chaminade High product had 40 points on 12 goals and 28 assists.
In order for the trade to happen, Stastny had to waive his no-trade clause. The Blues agreed to keep 50 percent of Stastny's pro-rated salary as part of the deal. With 19 games remaining in a year in which Stastny has a cap number of $7 million according to capfriendly.com, that would amount to about $800,000.
After accompanying the team to St. Paul on Sunday night, following the teams' 4-0 loss earlier that day to Nashville, Stastny said good-bye to his teammates in the hotel lobby in Minnesota before leaving for St. Louis. (He has to pick up his passport in St. Louis before leaving for Winnipeg.)
"It's tough," he said. "It's been emotional. A lot going on in my head for the last, I don't know, 20 hours or whatever. Lots of pros and cons when I think about all that.
"I think it's tough leaving these guys, some of the closest guys I've ever been with. But I'm excited to go somewhere (Winnipeg), when I look on paper and when I play against them how quality of a team they have.
"I think I can help them get even better and maybe be that piece for a long, extended run. To play more hockey for me is a big factor and it's maybe a decision made a little easier."
Also, Chris Thorburn, who was placed on waivers by the Blues on Sunday, cleared waivers and remains property of the team. Teams can have more than 23 players on their roster once the trade deadline passes as long as they stay under the salary cap limit.
And the Blues have cap space due to the Stastny trade.