Busy Deadline Sends A Message In St. Louisby Sean Gallagher | March 12, 2017, 1:17 PM ET
"We've had some down performances this year, for sure," admitted team manager Sean Gallagher, "If some of our guys were producing they way we'd anticipated, I think we'd solidly be in the playoff picture. As it is, we're chasing again. Something had to change."
The changes started a couple weeks before the trade deadline as certain veteran players were outplayed by some rookie injury replacements and were shipped out of town. Taking the place of the more expensive veterans are Markus Granlund, Marko Dano and Phillip Danault up front and Noah Hanifin and Jacob Slavin on the blueline.
While those changes solidified certain areas of the team's game, scoring from the top two lines has continued to be sporadic. On deadline weekend, that was addressed. In a deal with Brno, the Spartans acquired Patrice Bergeron in exchange for a third round pick and speedy winger Michael Grabner.
"Grabner has been great for us and I think he's due for another great season next year," explained Gallagher, "but we need the help now and Bergeron has the offensive skill set we need for this playoff push."
A second deal, this time with Toronto, saw Jannik Hansen coming to town in exchange for Tyler Bozak.
"Tyler is a good player and I'm sure he'll have a good year next season in Toronto," said Gallagher, "he didn't really get comfortable here this year and with the addition of Bergeron, his role was in question. Hansen has shown a real nose for the net and we expect him to help us put some more goals on the board."
The St. Louis fan base quickly took to social media to question and to commend the deals, sometimes in the same posts, but one thing they can't question this year: the Spartans are looking to make the playoffs.