The St. Louis Blues are a little less deep today as they lost Magnus Paajarvi. There will be few tears shed, but it never feels right losing a player for nothing.
The St. Louis Blues lost Magnus Paajarvi today. The Ottawa Senators seemed determined to claim some sort of victory against the Blues, so they stole a player.
The Senators lost their last two games against St. Louis. The combined scores were 7-1. So, perhaps this was Ottawa’s measure of revenge.
Of course, that’s a silly idea, but you have to make sense of it somehow. The reality is that the Senators did claim Paajarvi off waivers, so he will now be a member of their organization. Whether he plays in Ottawa or is sent to their AHL team is up in the air.
The Blues were forced to put a player on waivers with the return of Jaden Schwartz. Oskar Sundqvist would have been the other likely candidate, since both had to clear waivers, but the Blues rolled the dice on Paajarvi and lost.
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In terms of this season, Paajarvi was having a mediocre or bad year, depending on your viewpoint. He had two goals and four points in 44 games. He was a minus-3 and was barely averaging over 11 minutes per game.
While he was never expected to do much, he had a decent season last year. In 2017-18, Paajarvi had eight goals in 32 games.
For whatever reason, he just never found a stride in St. Louis. Some of it had to do with mixed playing time, but he never earned extra playing time either.
Paajarvi was acquired in the summer of 2013 in a trade that sent David Perron to Edmonton. Thank goodness the draft pick the Blues received ended up being Ivan Barbashev, or that might have been a lost deal.
Paajarvi’s main problem, like so many before and after him, was draft status. Given the skills he showed in the NHL, he was never going to be more than a third or fourth line player. However, when you get drafted 10th overall, fans tend to expect a lot more than a third line player.
Oddly enough, his rookie season in Edmonton was the only time he ever had double-digit goals (15G, 34P). His best season in St. Louis was 2016-17, with his eight goals and three playoff points, including a series winning goal against Minnesota.
As Randy Karraker put it on the radio, Paajarvi was just one of those guys that fans never accepted he was what he was. They constantly put him down because there was an expectation he was a skilled player. If we viewed him as a fourth line player that hustled every game and put in a few points, he might have been seen in a more favorable light.
Regardless, the Blues are a thinner team now. Paajarvi was not keeping any younger players out of the lineup, so they’ve lost a little bit of depth.
His presence or absence will not be the difference in a playoff spot or series win. When you go down the stretch in crunch time, sometimes it’s good to have that extra jump off the bench.
Additionally, regardless of how you feel about the player, it stinks to keep losing players for nothing. Paajarvi is the fourth player the team has lost to waivers the past two seasons, according to Tom Timmerman.
His skill will not be missed, but unlike several players that remain, Paajarvi almost never took a game off. He just ended up not being what the Oilers or Blues hoped he would. He won’t be that player in Ottawa either, but I wish him the best and all Blues should too.