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St. Louis trades Nash, Stillman for draft picks

SHARE St. Louis trades Nash, Stillman for draft picks

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A small group of fans chanted "We want Jagr! We want Jagr!" at the NHL Draft, but that was the only time the name of the Washington Capitals' star was mentioned Saturday.

Teams looking to slash payroll heading into the final year of the league's current labor contract were expected to start trading away some players this weekend at the two-day draft.

Jaromir Jagr, due $11 million next season, has been mentioned as the top trade bait. He has been notably linked to rumors involving the New York Rangers, but he stayed put — at least for now.

Instead, the biggest deal of the day involved picks and a player, and it kicked off the draft.

Florida traded the No. 1 pick to the Pittsburgh Penguins, who desperately wanted to move up to take goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. The Penguins gave the Panthers their No. 3 pick as well as forward Mikael Samuelsson and the No. 55 pick for the first and 73rd selections.

It was the first time Pittsburgh picked No. 1 since 1984 when the Penguins drafted Mario Lemieux, now the team's owner.

"We decided that the best place to start building is in the goal," Penguins general manager Craig Patrick said.

Panthers GM Rick Dudley traded the No. 1 pick for the third time in five years. He did it last year with Florida and in 1999 as Tampa Bay general manager.

The first three rounds of the draft were held on Saturday. Rounds 4-9 will be conducted Sunday.

Five teams traded picks in the first round. Florida, which acquired the 25th selection in the first round, also sent Ivan Majesky to Atlanta for the 38th choice and center Kamil Kreps.

But the St. Louis Blues were the most active team on the first day of the draft, swapping a pair of forwards for draft picks.

The Blues first traded left wing Cory Stillman to Tampa Bay for the Lightning's second-round pick (62nd overall). Stillman had 67 points in 79 games last season, averaging 18 minutes, 19 seconds a game for the Blues.

Then St. Louis swapped the 93rd pick overall to New Jersey for the 101st selection and Mike Danton. That prompted a fan to yell, "It's about time, Lou" in reference to Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello.

Danton was suspended by Lamoriello last season for failing to report to the minor leagues. It was the second straight year that Danton and Lamoriello had problems.

Danton sat out most of the previous season after disagreeing with Lamoriello about a medical diagnosis. The player, who changed his name from Mike Jefferson, failed to report to the minors then, too.

The Blues used the pick from the Devils on Konstantin Zakharov, then traded left wing Tyson Nash to Phoenix for either the Coyotes' fifth-round pick on Sunday or Buffalo's fourth-round pick in 2004. Nash played in 66 games for St. Louis with 114 penalty minutes.

In other trades involving draft picks, Toronto gave Minnesota the 78th pick overall for the 91st and 125th in this year's draft. The Rangers dropped down seven spots from 43rd to 50 and picked up San Jose's third-round pick (75th overall).

Early in the second round, Chicago traded center Andrei Nikolishin to Colorado for a 2004 draft pick, and Calgary swapped its 47th pick to Colorado for the 97th pick and two picks from San Jose (143rd and 173rd overall).

The Colorado Avalanche also swapped Sergei Soin to Nashville for Tomas Slovak.

Late Friday night, Boston sent Jozef Stumpel and its seventh-round pick in this draft (213th overall) to the Los Angeles Kings for Philadelphia's fourth-round pick (129 overall) in this draft and Detroit's second-round pick in the 2004 draft.

The Carolina Hurricanes traded defensemen David Tanabe and Igor Knyazev to Phoenix for defenseman Danny Markov and a conditional draft selection in the 2004 draft. San Jose acquired right wing Scott Parker from Colorado for a fifth-round pick (163rd overall).