What a ride it has been for the Blues. Currently sitting in 4th in the Central they have some tough decisions to make. After firing Ken Hitchcock and moving on to Mike Yeo the blues are in the thick of things. They are 4 points back of NSH in the Central with a game in hand and own the second wild-card spot but with only 3 points separating them from the Kings. They sport a -5 goal differential mainly because they can’t keep the puck out of their own net. The Blues rank 23rd in goals against per game even though they rank 6th on the penalty kill. Their offense is pretty average, ranking 12th in goals per game.
They are led by Paul Statsny, Alex Steen, Jaden Schwartz, and their stud winger Vladimir Tarasenko.
Tarasenko is everything you want in a winger: big, strong, fast, and with a rocket of a shot
On the blue line they are built around Alex Pietrangelo, Jay Bouwmeester, Kevin Shattenkirk and young stud Colton Parayko.
Pietrangelo and Parayko will be patroling the blue line for years to come just as Tarasenko and Schwartz will be manning the forward units for years to come.
I wrote about the Berglund extension here which eliminates one potential trade candidate.
Who are the blues and what are they going to do? Right now I would say they are going to sell and try and rebuild on the fly. They have some really good assets but haven’t played well this year, and honestly the Wild and Blackhawks are too good in the West. Last year when the Blues beat the Blackhawks they did it around depth, they don’t have that same depth anymore.
Let’s say the Blues are sellers, they are committed to trading Shattenkirk.
Shattenkirk is an offensive defenseman who is set to become a UFA. He should command a prospect plus draft picks or a young NHL ready winger. A trade of J.T Miller for Shattenkirk would be a great deal for Shattenkirk but the Rangers probably don’t do that and just wait till Shattenkirk is a FA. I wrote about that here
What other deals? Well the Blues have about $5MM in cap space so if they wanted to add they could.
If they want to sell is someone like Paul Stastny available? He has a NTC so any trade has to be approved by him. He makes $7MM for this year and next before he is a UFA so the time is ticking on his contract. The Hanzal trade shows that teams are willing to pay a lot for top center-man Stastny is way better than Hanzal.
David Perron could be on the move as well.
I’m not sure what STL is going to do since they are in this limbo-esque situation. They could add and go for it but I really don’t see that happened. They have Jake Allen in goal and are hoping that he returns to prominence. Whatever they do it seems that this is not the year for the cup to reach ST. Louis and I would suggest rebuilding on the fly.
What does everyone else think?