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Principe: Perron his Game

by Gene Principe / Edmonton Oilers

It was another night, another game and another big goal by David Perron.

With Edmonton one goal away from likely being out of it against Minnesota, it was the Oilers who got the goal and Perron who scored it. It gave the visitors some life and took a little bit of the sting out of a Minnesota team looking for another win. It was the start of a stirring comeback to victory and it gave Perron his 24th goal of the season, a career high that keeps getting higher.

That is just another reason to like the trade which brought Perron from St.Louis, which just so happens to be the Oilers next stop on the road, this Thursday night.

St.Louis is where it all started in the NHL for Perron, after an 83-point season that included 39 goals and 44 assists with Lewiston of the QMJHL. He was the league's rookie goal-scoring leader and he finished second in points. His plus/minus was 37 and he helped Lewiston win the QMJHL title and they landed a spot in the Mastercard Memorial Cup.

Along the way, he also played in the CHL Top Prospects game. It all added up to a first round selection by the Blues in the 27th spot of the 2007 draft.

A late round first round pick, generally speaking, would be considered unlikely to make the jump right from the CHL to the NHL but the winger did it. He made the roster of a good St.Louis team and in his rookie season, played 62 games and recorded 13 goals and 27 points. It was certainly a respectable start to his NHL career. He followed that up with 50 and 47 point seasons with the Blues.

Just as Perron was solidifying himself as a top Blue, he ran into concussion problems. His 2010-11 season was almost completely wiped out. Perron played in just 10 games but still managed seven points. The next season, he felt better and showed it by posting, what was then, a career-high 21 goals. David Perron, when healthy, had shown a consistency for scoring. He was a top-six forward who became expendable, or at least his contract did.

With St.Louis looking to play ‘let's make a deal’, it was Edmonton that stepped in to become a trade partner.

A second round pick and Magnus Paajarvi was what it took for the Oilers to acquire David Perron. Magnus Paajarvi is slowly finding his way with the Blues and who knows what the second round pick will turn out to be, but right now the Oilers have won the deal.

St.Louis, I'm sure, is fine with that, considering they are first in the NHL. The Blues may miss Perron but it hasn't shown in the standings. Truth be told, Edmonton needed Perron more than St.Louis did.

While Edmonton has been in great position to draft core pieces to the team, it can't all be done through the draft. The process has to continue by signings and trades. Craig MacTavish has made numerous deals since becoming General Manager. He can only hope that all of his trades turn out to be as good as his first one.

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