May 15, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle (3) looks on during game two of the Western Conference finals of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

Yandle To The Blues?

Phoenix has been entertaining trade offers for all-star defensemen Keith Yandle since the Coyotes were eliminated in the Western Conference Final. With their ownership in limbo and a possible relocation on the horizon, Phoenix GM Don Maloney may be trying to ditch their few experienced players (including captain Shane Doan), for prospects with more upside and smaller cap hits.

This brings us to the Blues, who after losing out on Ryan Suter and Matt Carle, were relegated to signing journeyman Jeff Woywitka. Clearly, St. Louis is still in need of more blueline help, as Carlo Colaiacovo is an unrestricted free agent and Woywitka has been less than reliable during his 7 year NHL career, registering only 2 points in 26 games last season. In my opinion, in order to become an elite team, the Blues need a stellar defenseman to pair with Norris Trophy candidate Alex Pietrangelo, and Yandle might just be their man. The 25 year old blue-liner was a defensive staple for the Coyotes in front of Mike Smith, but was no slouch on the offensive end either. Yandle had 43 points (11 goals, 32 assists) during a regular season in which he played all 82 games.

A trade for Yandle would be ideal for the Blues needs, but only at a cost that does not mortgage the future for this young Blues team. Maloney will surely strive to get as much young talent as possible for any Yandle trade, and could ask St. Louis for young forwards Jaden Schwartz, Vladimir Tarasenko or 2012 first round defensemen Jordan Shmaltz. It is unlikely that the GM Doug Armstrong would be willing to give up any of these highly touted youngsters, but it will be interesting to see how far St. Louis goes in attempting to bring in the top-4 defenseman they desperately need.

Tags: Alex Pietrangelo Don Maloney Doug Armstrong Jaden Schwartz Jeff Woywitka Jordan Shmaltz Keith Yandle Phoenix Coyotes St. Louis Blues Vladimir Tarasenko

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