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Here’s your guide to the complicated conditions in the Kevin Shattenkirk trade

Our brains are now broken.

2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic - Practice Day & Family Skate Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

You might’ve heard that the St. Louis Blues traded Kevin Shattenkirk to the Washington Capitals on Monday. It was kind of big news.

What you didn’t hear was that the trade was absolutely bonkers complicated. I don’t even care if that’s a good grammatical sentence. My brain is broken after reading the conditions involved here.

So we’re going to go through them very slowly, piece by piece, so our brains don’t start bleeding out through our noses like a late-season episode of Lost.

These are all via Sportsnet reporter Elliotte Friedman, by the way. Give the man a hug. And Washington Post reporter Isabelle Khurshudyan, who had to deal with this stuff on her birthday.

  • St. Louis sends Kevin Shattenkrik and goalie Pheonix Copley to the Capitals.
  • Doing OK so far.
  • Washington sends Zach Sanford, Brad Malone, and a first-round pick in 2017 to the Blues.
  • Deep breath.
  • Ready?
  • Here comes conditional chaos.
  • If the Capitals re-sign Shattenkirk OR advances to the Eastern Conference Final and he plays in more than half of the first two rounds of games ... St. Louis receives Washington’s 2019 second-round pick.
  • Go get some water. Walk the dog. Fresh air.
  • OK.
  • If the Capitals trade Shattenkirk on or before July 1 (free agency opening day), St. Louis gets Washington’s seventh-round draft pick.
  • HOWEVER (this is when things get really weird) ...
  • IF said trade by the Capitals gets a pick higher than the fourth round (i.e., between the first or third rounds), then St. Louis gets the “next available pick two rounds later than the earliest pick received by Washington,” in Friedman’s words.
  • f a l l i n g t h r o u g h s p a c e t i m e l i s t l e s s l y
  • What?
  • So ...
  • So if the Capitals trade Shattenkirk for a third-round pick, St. Louis would get Washington’s fifth-round pick. A second-round pick would result in a fourth-round pick. A first-round pick results in a third-round pick. A zero-round pick results in a [ERROR CANNOT COMPUTE].
  • Potatoes are like the orange slices of the root vegetable family.
  • And St. Louis will retain 39 percent of Kevin Shattenkirk’s salary.

Thank you for reading along. And thank you, Blues and Capitals, for this simple trade.

We will now go outside and stare into the void.