Ducks trade Andy McDonald to Blues for two players, draft pick

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ANAHEIM, Calif. - Andy McDonald, a key member of the Anaheim Ducks' Stanley Cup championship team last season, was traded Friday to the St. Louis Blues for Doug Weight, Michal Birner and a seventh-round draft pick next year.

McDonald, in the second year of a three-year, US$10-million contract, had 27 goals and 51 assists in 82 games last season, and played in his first NHL all-star game. He has four goals and 12 assists in 33 games this season.

The 30-year-old centre played in 391 games with the Ducks after signing as a free agent before the 2000-01 season.

Anaheim general manager Brian Burke called McDonald one of the better players ever to wear a Ducks uniform, adding "Moving a guy like Andy is tough."

Burke believes Weight might be a better fit for the Ducks now, saying he has great respect for him for his willingness to always play for the United States in the World Championships.

"I know he can pass and he can compete," the GM said.

Burke said he was pleased that the Ducks were able to keep their defence intact.

The trade frees up cap space for the return of defenceman Scott Niedermayer, who announced last week he was returning to the Ducks after considering retirement. Anaheim would have been over the cap figure next season.

The move also creates cap flexibility, freeing up potential money to re-sign forward Corey Perry.

Weight said he was getting "more excited by the minute" at the thought of joining the defending Stanley Cup champions.

"It's good to be a Duck," he said during a conference call from his home. "It's been a strange turn of events over the past couple of days."

Weight, whose contract expires after this season, had four goals and seven assists in 29 games for the Blues this season.

Talking about a relatively dry spell this year, he said, "I felt like I've never been more unlucky. I'm very confident in my game."

The 36-year-old centre is a four-time all-star who helped the Carolina Hurricanes win the Stanley Cup in 2006, getting three goals and 13 assists in 23 playoff games.

Weight has 259 goals and 696 assists in 1,093 career games with the New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, Carolina and St. Louis.

Blues president John Davidson was quoted on the team's website as saying St. Louis was "excited to add a top calibre forward. ... Doug is a true professional and we would like to thank him and his wife, Allison, for the time and dedication they have provided to the St. Louis Blues."

Birner had two goals and five assists in 18 games this season for Peoria, the Blues' American Hockey League affiliate. The 21-year-old left wing played his first professional season with Peoria last season, getting 11 goals and 17 assists in 66 games. The Blues took him in the fourth round of the 2004 entry draft.



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