Blues acquire defenseman Marco Scandella from Canadiens

The St. Louis Blues acquired defenseman Marco Scandella from the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday for a pair of draft picks, it was announced.

The Canadiens will get a 2020 second-round pick and a 2021 conditional fourth-round selection for Scandella, 29. It's a good haul for the Habs, who acquired Scandella from the Sabres last month for a fourth-round pick.

Heading up to Monday's trade deadline, it has been thought that St. Louis would look for forward depth considering that Vladimir Tarasenko has missed much of the season with an injury. But veteran blueliner Jay Bouwmeester suffered a cardiac event last week in Anaheim, California, and the team said Tuesday that he has been placed on long-term injured reserve -- leaving a void on defense.

"We've signed him to a one-way contract for next year but entering this important push and the postseason if we're fortunate enough to play well enough to get there, experience does matter,'' Blues GM Doug Armstrong said. "If we were sitting here 10 days ago I would have said one area we wouldn't be touching was our defense but things change in that fashion.''

The defending champs have gone 2-6-2 in their past 10 games as their lead in the Central Division has evaporated.

Scandella is in the final year of a five-year deal that has a $4 million cap hit. Montreal reportedly tried to extend his deal, but he wanted to test free agency.

Scandella had three points in 20 games with Montreal. In 51 games this season, he has 12 points.

Montreal has performed solidly according to advanced stats and was flirting with a playoff spot for much of the season, but injuries have caused the team to fall off the pace. The Canadiens are currently nine points out of the second wild card.