Blues hockey has been over for a couple months and I still can’t get over Brayden Schenn’s season. Even if he didn’t lead the team in points (which he did), at least the Blues weren’t paying Jori Lehtera $4.7 million to be outscored by Scottie Upshall and Kyle Brodziak.
© Jeff Curry: USA TODAY Sports
In the 62 games that Lehtera played with Philadelphia this year, he only recorded 8 points. To compare, Schenn had an impressive 70 point season (28 G, 42 A) in 82 games with the Blues. This trade had one of the best returns in Blues’ history, and there are some similarities between the Brett Hull and Brayden Schenn trades to St. Louis.
While I wasn’t old enough to watch Brett Hull dominate in a Blues sweater (I know, I’m a youngin'), his trade to the Blues had some interesting traits similar to Schenn’s. The Blues traded Rob Ramage (D) and Rick Wamsley (G) to the Calgary Flames in 1988 for the “Golden Brett”.
Lehtera’s last two seasons with the Blues were undeniably bad, but his past season with the Flyers was much, much worse. He slowed down tremendously, just like Ramage did once he was traded to the Flames. Rob went from a high of 66 points with St. Louis to 16 points in 68 games with Calgary. While that’s an ugly stat, it’s twice as many points as Lehtera had in the same amount of games. Yikes.
In both trades the Blues dumped a player at their peak and picked-up their next point-leading forward. In his first three full seasons with the Blues, Hull put-up some incredible numbers.
1988-89: 84 PTS (41 G, 43 A) in 78 GP
1989-90: 113 PTS (72 G, 41 A) in 80 GP
1990-91: 131 PTS (86 G, 45 A) in 78 GP
Everybody knows that the key to winning a Stanley Cup when you play for the Blues is to be relocated to a different team (*cough* Oshie *cough*), but in these trades St. Louis promptly dumped toxic players before their decline. Calgary won the Cup in 1988, but Ramage and Wamsley went invisible after that season. It’s important to look back at good trades, especially when ex-Blues are playing in the Stanley Cup every year.
Here’s to the Blues’ second year without Jori. Cheers.