The Blues upgraded their defense in a major way with the additions of Jordan Leopold and Jay Bouwmeester, which allowed them to deal veteran Wade Redden to Boston. The first-round pick sent to Calgary in the Bouwmeester deal will come this year if the Blues make the playoffs; if they miss, they’ll lose a fourth-round pick in 2013 and a first-round pick in 2014.
Incoming players and picks: Jordan Leopold, Jay Bouwmeester, conditional 2014 seventh-round pick, conditional 2015 fourth-round pick.
Outgoing players and picks: Matt D’Agostini, Mark Cundari, Reto Berra, Wade Redden, conditional 2013 first-round pick, 2013 second-round pick, 2013 fifth-round pick, conditional 2015 seventh-round pick.
The Blues defense will feature Bouwmeester and Leopold together for the first time. St. Louis snapped a three-game losing streak with that 4-1 win over the Wild on Monday. Brian Elliott will get the start in net against the Blackhawks. Elliott made 20 saves in relief of Jaroslav Halak on Monday. Halak injured his groin and will be out a while. Jake Allen was recalled after Halak’s injury.
This is the third of five meetings between the Central Division rivals. Chicago is 2-0 against St. Louis this season. Marian Hossa will return to the Blackhawks’ lineup Thursday against the Blues. Hossa has missed the past six games with an upper-body injury.