Unlike he has done in past seasons, St. Louis Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong failed to pull the trigger on any deals before the NHL trade deadline on Monday afternoon.
Armstrong had issued potential warnings before the deadline, citing salary cap issues and more than $5 million in combined salary tied up between long-term injured reserve players Brian Elliott and Steve Ott.
The Blues’ only addition was picking up backup goalie Anders Nilsson from Edmonton on Saturday in exchange for goaltending prospect Niklas Lundstrom and a 2016 fifth-round pick.
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Nilsson’s deal was to give the Blues a goaltender with NHL experience to back up Jake Allen until Elliott’s expected return in March from a lower-body injury.
The Blues’ other current injury is forward Alexander Steen, expected to return later in March with an upper-body injury. Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo scored a goal Sunday in his return from a nine-game absence because of a knee injury.
The 25-year-old Nilsson was 10-12-2 this season for Edmonton with a 3.14 goals-against average and .901 save percentage.
Among the top names mentioned in trade rumors surrounding the Blues were Boston Bruins forward Loui Eriksson and Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Druin, but both remained with their own teams as the deadline passed. He is 19-21-4 in 45 NHL games with the Oilers and New York Islanders.
The Blues (36-20-9, 81 points) return to action with a 6:30 p.m. road game in Ottawa. They are just two points behind Central Division leader Chicago and one point behind second-place Dallas, but have lost in the first round of the playoffs in each of the last three seasons.