Marco Scandella was traded to the St. Louis Blues by the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday for a second-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.
"I'm excited for the opportunity to play in the playoffs, to play with this team, a great franchise," Scandella said after practicing with the Blues on Wednesday. "Like I said, the defending Stanley Cup champs. I just want to play my role and try to help the team win."
Coach Craig Berube said Scandella would likely make his Blues debut when they play the Arizona Coyotes at Enterprise Center on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; FS-MW, FS-A, FS-A PLUS, NHL.TV).
"He's ready to go," Berube said. "We got him for a reason, so we'll get him right in there and play."
St. Louis general manager Doug Armstrong said the trade for the defenseman was in response to losing Jay Bouwmeester, who had a cardiac episode during their game at the Anaheim Ducks on Feb. 11 and was placed on long-term injured reserve Tuesday.
"We view him to be the type of player we lost," Armstrong said of Scandella. "[Bouwmeester] was a rangy player, had a great stick, killed plays down low, simple first-pass player. Marco's a good skater. I don't think he's an elite skater like [Bouwmeester] was in his prime or still was effective, but he has a powerful shot.
"We think that right now with our players on the right side, whether he plays with Alex [Pietrangelo] or [Justin] Faulk or [Colton] Parayko, I told him, 'You're drawing a good cart regardless of who you get to play with there,' and he was excited about that. I just think that the way (coach) Craig [Berube] and (assistant) Mike [Van Ryn] have our team playing, having those big, rangy, difficult players to play against fits into what we're doing."
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Scandella (6-foot-3, 212 pounds) has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in 51 games this season. The 29-year-old is in the final season of a five-year contract he signed with the Minnesota Wild and can become an unrestricted free agent July 1. He was traded to the Canadiens by the Buffalo Sabres for a fourth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft on Jan. 2.
Selected by Minnesota in the second round (No. 55) of the 2008 NHL Draft, Scandella has 136 points (42 goals, 94 assists) in 569 regular-season games for the Wild, Sabres and Canadiens and nine points (six goals, three assists) in 39 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Scandella said he's familiar with Blues style from playing against them with the Wild.
"Absolutely, a tough team, works hard," Scandella said. "You saw last year in their Cup run. I've been on the other side playing against the Blues a lot, played two playoff series against this team. They're tenacious, a hard-working team. Now I bring my energy and bring my game to this team is going to be really exciting for me."
The Blues (33-17-10) lead the Dallas Stars by two points for first place in the Central Division after a 3-0 home win against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.