ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – St. Louis fan favorite Kevin Shattenkirk has been traded to the Washington Capitals.

Blues play-by-play announcer Chris Kerber says Washington gives up a first round draft pick, a conditional second round pick, and forward Zach Sanford in exchange.

Kerber says Sanford has split this season between the Capitals and AHL affiliate the Hershey Bears. He adds this is a business decision – the Blues have been bumping up against the salary cap for years. They locked up several players such as, Vladimiar Tarasenko and Alex Pietrangelo, earlier this year.

Related story: Who Is Zach Sanford?

“Kevin Shattenkirk is destined and was set to become an unrestricted free-agent,” Kerber says. “And the Blues were not going to be able to fit the kind of contract, that he would command on the free-agent market, into their current system of salary structure that they have.”

Stattenkirk was originally traded to the St. Louis Blues from Colorado in 2011. The 28-year-old defenseman has posted 42 points and 37 penalties during the 61 games this season. Overall, he has averaged 258 points and 274 penalty minutes in 425 career regular season games with the Blues.

The trade also includes a minor league deal. The Blues will send goalie Pheonix Copley in exchange for forward Brad Malone.

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