Bill Guerin celebrates his second goal of the game. (CPimages/AP Photo/Tom Gannam)
The St. Louis Blues have traded veteran forward Bill Guerin to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a first-round draft pick in 2007, forward Ville Nieminen and prospect Jay Barriball. Guerin, 36, is making US$2 million this season and will become an unrestricted free agent July 1. He has 28 goals and 19 assists in 61 games this season.
Heading into Tuesday's play, the Sharks were tied for fifth in the Western Conference with a 38-24-1 record and 77 points while the Blues were out of the playoff picture at 26-27-9 and 61 points.
"A big trade always shakes up a team," Guerin said of the Blues. "They've got very professional guys here, resilient guys, guys that have bounced back from a lot. We dug ourselves out of a huge hole that we created at the beginning of the year.
"There are some character guys, some quality guys here. Maybe it stings right now but nobody here in St. Louis is going to roll over."
Guerin says he'll play wherever he's needed in San Jose.
"They've just got so much talent up front that it doesn't really matter," Guerin said. "Wherever (coach Ron Wilson) wants to put me, wherever he thinks I'll fit best. Because I know they've been having success this year, wherever I go, that'll be just fine - we'll make it work."
In 1,010 career games with New Jersey, Edmonton, Boston and St. Louis, he has collected 356 goals and 354 assists.
It's the second big move for the Blues in the last few days. On Sunday, they traded forward Keith Tkachuk to Atlanta.
Nieminen has a goal and an assist in 30 games this season. Barriball, a forward who was San Jose's seventh-round pick in 2006, is currently playing with the University of Minnesota.