Human nature is to evaluate trades in sports and rarely is one made without some sort of short-term reaction.

The Blues haven’t even wrapped up training camp and already the critics are questioning the departure of David Perron to Edmonton bringing Magnus Paajarvi and a second-round draft pick to St. Louis.

The reason in part is because Perron sits with five goals and one assist in four games with the Oilers. Also on Thursday Paajarvi was taken off a line with Patrik Berglund and Vladimir Tarasenko and relegated as an “extra” forward in practice.

“I don’t know what the plan is (with Paajarvi)” Hitchcock said. “All I know is he’s getting better every day. I think you give him time with us and he’s going to be a real good player. That’s how I look at it.”

Hitchcock acknowledged that he could envision the Blues opening the season with the top nine forwards who were on the practice ice Thursday with Brenden Morrow on the No. 2 line with Derek Roy and Chris Stewart and Jaden Schwartz dropping down to the No. 3 line with Berglund and Tarasenko.

That would be disappointing to Paajarvi though he said “I don’t take too much out of it. Of course I want to be playing with the top guys but it’s up to the coach. There’s really not too much to say about it.”

The Blues knew that they were giving up a potential goal scorer in Perron who had 21 goals in 57 games in 2011-12. They believed they were getting a confident and tenacious winger when the deal was made.

“He’s played opposite of what we thought and today at practice was the first time we saw the player that we traded for” Hitchcock said. “What I mean by that is his ability to make plays on the rush his abilities to make plays on the cycle his offensive instincts were way better than what we thought they were.

“What we saw in the last 20 games in Edmonton was a high level of tenacity and something you can build on. He hasn’t shown that here. He’s shown at times like he’s overwhelmed but he’s showing more offensive ability than we thought — ever.”

Hitchcock said early in camp that Paajarvi Berglund and Tarasenko were the Blues’ best line. But in three games Paajarvi has no points on eight shots and as a group the line has no points on 21 shots. (Berglund had a 4-on-4 overtime goal in a 3-2 win over Dallas).

“I felt like we’ve been playing really well together” Paajarvi said. “I felt like there is some chemistry there. We’ve had so many scoring opportunities in the games (but) we haven’t executed and that could be a reason (for the change).”

Hitchcock said that it has more to do with Paajarvi’s ability to create turnovers.