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Looking back on how the Blues fleeced Buffalo for Ryan O'Reilly

A year later, Ryan O'Reilly is a Stanley Cup champion, Conn Smythe winner and Selke Trophy recipient. The three players the Blues traded combined for just 14 goals.

In 1964, the Cardinals and Cubs made one of the most memorable and lopsided trades in baseball history.

St. Louis sent pitcher Ernie Broglio to Chicago for 24-year-old Lou Brock.

Brock became a hall of famer and Broglio would only win seven games as a Cub.

Ryan O'Reilly might not end up in the hall of fame, but last summer's trade to bring him to St. Louis will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the most important trades in St. Louis sports history.

Without it, St. Louis wouldn't be basking in the glow of Stanley Cup glory.

Watch: Rewind of a historic season

As time goes on, the trade only looks better and better.

On July 1, 2018 the Blues sent Vladimir Sobotka, Tage Thompson, Patrik Berglund and two drafts picks to Buffalo for the then 27-year-old center.

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A year later, O'Reilly is an all-star, a Stanley Cup champion, a Conn Smythe winner and a Selke Trophy recipient.

Berglund has since left the Sabres, and Sobkota and Thompson have been far from impressive.

Watch: Ryan O'Reilly talks after winning Stanley Cup

How in the world did Doug Armstrong pull this off?

Even before O'Reilly led the Blues to their first Stanley Cup championship this looked liked a steal. He totaled career highs in goals (28), assists (49) and was a +22 player for the Blues.

By comparison, Sobotka, Thompson and Berglund had 14 goals and 15 assists combined for Buffalo this past season.

And to make this even more lopsided, O'Reilly won't be a free agent until 2023. 

On Twitter, the Blues were sure to remember this day as well, posting O'Reilly's first phone call with Armstrong where the center told the Blues' GM, "Let's go win a cup."

Sure, Tage Thompson is still young, and the draft picks they acquired could turn out to produce quality pros, but overall this trade will always be one of the things people point to when looking back on why the Blues were finally able to reach the mountaintop in 2019.

How it alone didn't win Doug Armstrong GM of the year I'll never understand.

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