Blues get pick, player, rights to prospect for Guerin

Updated: February 28, 2007, 1:29 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The one big prize that was left on the trade market is now gone.

Bill Guerin
Guerin

Bill Guerin was traded to the San Jose Sharks by the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday just hours before the NHL trading deadline.

The Sharks, who entered the day tied for fifth in the Western Conference, sent left wing Ville Nieminen, college forward Jay Barriball and a first-round pick in this year's draft to the Blues.

Guerin, arguably the biggest name on the trading block, led the Blues this season with 28 goals and 47 points. The 14-year veteran waived his no-trade clause to leave the rebuilding Blues for the Sharks, who could contend for a Stanley Cup championship.

"I'm thrilled," Guerin said. "This is one of those teams that was on my radar. I am very happy to be going there.

"You have certain expectations and places that you want to go. ... When it was presented to me, it was a no-brainer."

Two days earlier, the Sharks acquired veteran defenseman Craig Rivet from the Montreal Canadiens for defenseman Josh Gorges and their own first-round pick. The moves signal a change in philosophy for Sharks general manager Doug Wilson, who gave every opportunity to his rich stable of young talent.

But San Jose's youth has been evident in an inconsistent season despite the club's impressive overall record. The Sharks, who lost 3-2 to Anaheim on Monday night, have lost four of six to slip into a second-place tie with Dallas in the Pacific Division.

Wilson used San Jose's stockpile of draft picks and prospects to add two playoff-tested veterans for the season's final 19 games -- even if they're only rentals. Both Guerin and Rivet can be unrestricted free agents after the season, but Guerin has won a Stanley Cup with New Jersey, and Rivet has been a solid contributor to the Canadiens for 11 seasons.

The 36-year-old Guerin, who is making just $2 million on a one-year contract this season, will be the Sharks' oldest player -- more than 3 years older than Rivet. Guerin also played with Sharks center Joe Thornton for most of two seasons in Boston.

The Sharks acquired Nieminen last season from the New York Rangers, but the Finnish forward has been in coach Ron Wilson's doghouse all season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.