Mar 4, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (35) makes a save against St. Louis Blues right wing Matt D

If the St. Louis Blues Make a Trade, Who is Likely to Be Moved

WHO WOULD THE ST. LOUIS BLUES BE INTERESTED IN TRADING?

The St. Louis Blues are a team that needs to be shaken up.  With the entire second line on the injured reserve and a defense that looks more lethargic than they have since the years of Mike Kitchen, the Blues are likely candidates to turn to the trade mill to improve their roster.

St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong is great at making moves quietly, but has been involved in some big rumors as of late.  Most recently it was said that the Blues are interested in Philadelphia Flyer’s winger Daniel Briere, but it is believed that the asking price is too high.  While any news you hear in the media is probably just speculation, Armstrong has to set priorities to improve his team and make them a contender once again.

So who would the Blues be willing to let go of during the shortened season and who would be more likely to be moved?  While there are no players in the league that are untouchable, every GM has their price, there are some that are more likely to be moved.  Upcoming free agents are often looked to be moved if their current team does not see them fitting into the team’s future.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

The St. Louis Blues will have a busy offseason in 2013.  With seven players becoming unrestricted free agents, who might the Blues be willing to move?

UFA’S THAT WON’T BE MOVED

Jamie Langenbrunner is currently sitting out this season after having hip surgery.  While the St. Louis Blues hoped that Langenbrunner would be the veteran presence in the locker room that they needed, it appears that he is going to be more of a coach than a player.  No team is going to make a move for a veteran player that is likely done with his career and I think the Blues will want to be loyal to Langenbrunner and possibly offer him a role on the coaching staff moving forward.  Don’t look for any news about Langenbrunner being moved the rest of his career.

Wade Redden was picked up by the St. Louis Blues after being bought out by the New York Rangers.  For the St. Louis Blues it was  a low risk high reward situation that saw the Blues add a veteran presence to their blueline without having to spend to get it.  Redden hasn’t been great this season, but he also hasn’t been awful.  The Blues will likely stick with Redden throughout this season as the 7th man on the blueline and let him find a new home come next season.  While there may be some interest in Redden from other teams, no one is going to be willing to pay the price that the Blues would be asking as Redden’s major role is mentoring Pietrangelo, not necessarily his game on the ice.

UFA’S THAT ARE NOT LIKELY TO BE MOVED

 

Feb 20 2013; Denver, CO, USA; St. Louis Blues center Andy McDonald (10) passes the puck during the first period of the game against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Andy McDonald hasn’t been a healthy player for the St. Louis Blues.  He is prone to injury and is often sidelined for long timeframes.  Some fans may want to see the Blues move McDonald to get someone who would be a constant in the lineup, but the issue is what is McDonald worth?  When healthy, Andy Mac is one of those guys for the Blues that you rely on night in and night out.  He is just under a point-per-game in his career with St. Louis and is a leader on and off the ice.  To replace McDonald would take a lot, but the asking price for him is probably higher than he is worth.  His significance to the Blues is worth more than his price on the trade market.  Still, don’t count out the Blues looking to move McDonald if they get the right offer.

Scott Nichol has been a great fourth line guy for the Blues.  While he often gets overlooked, he is a great faceoff guy and his physical game is one that energizes the Blues.  He does not carry a lot of value with himself, a team looking for the extra boost to make a run for the cup may see the real value in Nichol.  If the Blues got a decent offer for aging center, I think they would take the opportunity to move him, but it won’t be a blockbuster deal of any kind.

Andrew Murray was picked up by the St. Louis Blues this past offseason as a depth guy.  While his play in Peoria has been quite good, his value is not very high.  With guys like Cracknell and Porter more equipped to be depth players for the Blues and youngsters Phil McRae and Evgeny Grachev able to move up into depth roles, Murray may be an easy player for the Blues to part with.  The issue will be finding a team willing to pick him up.  If the Blues find a trade partner, the best they could hope for would be a draft pick.

UFA’S LIKELY TO BE MOVED

 

Mar 3, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; St. Louis Blues center Chris Porter (32) checks Dallas Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski (33) during the first period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Porter was placed on waivers at the beginning of the season and was not claimed by any teams in the league.  Now, with just 20 some games left for each team, Porter is worth more than he was in January.  When the Blues called up Cracknell, Murray, and Porter, some Blues fans questioned why guys like McRae and Grachev were called up instead.  I think that part of it has to do with GM Doug Armstrong wanting to show their trade value.  Porter has been playing very well in the AHL and will have to go through waivers once again when the Blues are healthy.  While the Blues could risk the move and get nothing in return, I think Armstrong has a plan to move Porter for a draft pick when Steen, McDonald, and Tarasenko return from injury.  Only time will tell, but I say look for Porter to be moved.

Adam Cracknell is in a very similar situation as Porter.  Called up and having to pass through waivers to get back to Peoria, Cracknell’s play has been great in the AHL and not bad at all in the NHL.  In the couple games he has played in the Blue Note so far, Cracknell has showed a great ability to get the puck on net and his ability to keep up with the speed of the NHL.  Look for Armstrong to move Cracknell instead of letting him go for nothing.

Restricted Free Agents

If you thought the Blues had their hands full with seven unrestricted free agents, then you will really think the St. Louis Blues have a lot of work to do when you see that they also have seven restricted free agents that they will need to resign.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS THAT WON’T BE MOVED

Alex Pietrangelo is due for a long term contract and that will be GM Doug Armstrong’s first priority this offseason.  While the Blues seem to have limited their contracts to five years with deals signed with David Backes, T.J. Oshie, and David Perron, Alex Pietrangelo could break that mold.  Blues fans and management alike want to see Petro in the note as long as possible.  The potential that the young star has is only going to show more and more throughout the next few years and the Blues wouldn’t consider trading him unless someone offered way more than his value.  Don’t expect to see Petro out of the Note anytime soon.

Kevin Shattenkirk was rumored to be a target of the Philadelphia Flyers, but I don’t think the Blues would take the chance in moving the young blueliner.  Shattenkirk is one of the leaders of the Blues defense and won’t be involved in many rumors.  Expect Armstrong to lock up Shattenkirk to a long term deal in the offseason as well.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS NOT LIKELY TO BE MOVED

 

Mar 1, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues right wing Chris Stewart (25) takes a shot during the second period against the Edmonton Oilers at the Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Stewart had a horrible season last year, but that all seems to be in the past now.  While Stewart has had his issues while with the Blues, he appears to be on the path to becoming a top 6 winger for a long time to come.  The Blues seem to want to stick with Stewart which seems like a good idea, but with Tarasenko and Oshie securing their spots on the right side in the top 6 for the Blues, Stewart could find himself as the odd man out.  The value for Stewart on the open market could be relatively high, but don’t count on Armstrong to move him without getting something worthwhile back.

Ian Cole is seem as a partner for Pietrangelo, but the St. Louis Blues coaching staff and management does not seem to be confident in him as of yet.  The Blues are known to be looking for a long term partner for Pietrangelo and if the opportunity arose, Cole would be the odd man out.  Even if he is not the partner for Petro moving forward, don’t expect the Blues to just give Cole away.  They know his value and could be willing to keep him around as his value will only continue to climb.

Patrik Berglund has been great for the Blues this season, but fans have often complained that he looks uninspired from time to time.  The effort that Berglund puts in directly reflects how he plays the game, but the Blues might not be willing to move him along unless they can get another top center in return.  With the price of Berglund fairly high, it would probably suit the Blues to keep him in the lineup a bit longer.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS LIKELY TO BE MOVED

 

Matt D’Agostini can be a 20 goal scorer and deserves to be a regular in an NHL lineup.  The problem with the St. Louis Blues is that they have too much depth for Dags to crack the lineup when everyone is healthy.  Given the value that D’Agositini could have, it might be in the best interest for the Blues to part ways with the young winger.  If Doug Armstrong could package him with another player to improve the Blues, I think he would do it in a second.  Watch to see Dags name in the news, but again, don’t expect a blockbuster trade.

Kris Russell’s play has been less than impressive all season.  While he showed flashes of brilliance and offensive ability last season, it may be time for the Blues to part ways with Russell.  His value could be rather high as many teams are looking to improve on defense, and given Russell’s youth and ability to join the offensive game, teams could be inquiring about his services.  Ken Hitchcock is a fan of Russell and has worked with him in Columbus and St. Louis, but that bond is not strong enough to protect him from being moved.

ASSETS

The St. Louis Blues are a team full of assets.  In a deep draft year the St. Louis Blues have all of their own picks as well as a second round pick from the Ottawa Senators and a fourth round pick from the Tampa Bay Lightning.  Looking forward into 2014, the Blues will have another fourth round pick from the Lightening as well.  GM Doug Armstrong seems to have piled up draft picks to help the team in the future, but with prospects piling up within the system, the Blues may be willing to move a pick or two.  If the Blues are willing to move a first, second, or third round pick, they could add a considerable amount of value to some of the guys they are ready to move.  If the Blues make a trade, look for Armstrong to part ways with a pick to increase the value of what the Blues get back.

BOTTOM LINE

The St. Louis Blues have a lot of options of who they may be willing to move, but don’t expect Armstrong and company to jump head first into any trades.  The management of the Blues is looking to the future and understands that they need to build this team around their current core of players.  A rebuilding process is not going to happen despite the lack of intensity the Blues have shown as of late.  If any moves are made, expect them to be smaller trades that would enhance the Blues lineup past this season.  I don’t think that Armstrong is going to be looking to rent anyone like Jarome Iginla when the Blues are looking to have a great run for the next few years and not just make a push this season.

If you were the GM of the St. Louis Blues, who would you be willing to move?  Let us know in the comments below and let us know what trades you would like to see happen.

More as we have it.  LET’S GO BLUES!

-Alex Hodschayan

Tags: RFA St. Louis Blues Trade Rumor Trades UFA

  • bluenotebacker

    Not sure I can list guys I’d be “willing” to move just yet. I agree with your assessment of where most of those guys stand with the team, with one exception. I think I’d be willing to move Patrick Berglund if the right deal came along. That said, as I consider possible moves being made as almost a necessity at this stage, I wonder what value the players the Blues would be willing to deal actually have around the league.

    Can the Blues add what they need by giving up those pieces? Will it take losing parts of the future of this team to get what they feel they need to win now? I think this short season is a terrible time for “rent-a-players” a la Iginla or Briere. Bergie, Russell, Porter & Dags- those are the three guys with value to the league right now as I see it, that I’d be willing to part with.

    • Alex Hodschayan

      I just don’t think you can move Berglund unless you get a solid center back. The Blues don’t have a great #1 center and Berglund fills the role of a #2 or #3 center. He is improving and has a higher value now than at some points of his career. If the Blues don’t get older through the trade, I think they could make it work, but I think they need to keep him if they can. He could be an inexpensive, quality guy for a lot of years.

      • bluenotebacker

        Totally agree, I simply don’t see the Blues having a lot of value to deal with in trading circles, unless they decide to get rid of some guys we wouldn’t expect them to part with. Should be interesting to watch it play out

  • Richard Cranium

    Blast me if you want . I’ve posted this trade at least 4 times on different sites, so here goes #5 !

    St. Louis Blues Trade : D Shattenkirk, C Backes, 1st in ’14, or 2nd in ’13 ( one, or the other . not both . ), & maybe D Cole

    For

    Philadelphia Flyers Trade : C Giroux, D Colbourne, C Briere

    Now, with that being said : I understand there might need to be a little added to the deal from either side . Don’t know if that’d be a roster player, prospect, or draft pick but, it was something that i thought could be fair for both sides .

    I know it’s crazy, & like everybody else, i really don’t like the idea of trading Shattenkirk, but, to get, you have to give ! So, as i said at the start, Blast Me ! For making an insane proposal .

    • Alex Hodschayan

      I don’t think that trade would make sense. The Flyers would be giving up a lot of skill up front for a defenseman. I think they could make a better deal with another team. If they were going to move Giroux, they would want more anyway. Just my .02.

  • Jimmy Derossi

    I don’t see the Blues signing both Petro and Shattenkirk. All it takes is a desperate GM like Holmgren to throw 10 years $100 million at Petro and the Blues will be forced to see him leave or cripple themselves in other areas by signing him. And if he threw that offer at Webber, there is no doubt he will try with Petro

    • Richard Cranium

      Yeah but, Holmgren won’t be able to throw them years at either one of them ! Plus, those dollars i think would put them over the limit one player could make, against the teams salary cap ! Because, the term limits a team to 7 years, 8 years if it’s your own, & i can’t remember the % against the cap but, i think a players salary can’t exceed $ 12.5 million in any given year . What you’re suggesting is a salary in excess of $ 14+ million a year .

      So, unless he traded for one of them, he couldn’t make an offer anywhere close to that .

    • Alex Hodschayan

      The Blues have a ton of cap space and while they can’t spend to the cap, they will be able to retain both defensemen if they want to. The Blues have a chance to let a lot of people walk, but they know that these two are their future on D. They wouldn’t have traded Johnson to get Shattenkirk if they thought they would lose him. Also, Weber was dragging his feet and was willing to move. Petro and Shattenkirk seem to want to stay in St. Louis. Finally, neither Petro or Shatty are not Weber. They are great defensemen, but will take some maturing to be that kind of a leader.

      • Jimmy Derossi

        I don’t think Weber wanted to move either but no one is going to turn down that type of money. They will just expect their teams to match. Trying to convince a player after a lockout that they can’t spend to the cap and hence can’t give a player the maximum other teams might offer simply won’t work. $$$ Talks.

        • Alex Hodschayan

          By that logic no teams would be able to keep their players. Philly could make the same kind of offer to Leddy if they just wanted to bankrupt teams. I don’t think that will happen. Thanks for sharing though.

          • Jimmy Derossi

            lol are you really comparing a Top 5 defenseman like Petro to Leddy? And by my logic, teams that don’t spend to the cap (which the Blues are notorious for) are the ones that have difficulty keeping their own players.

          • Alex Hodschayan

            There is no comparison, trust me. The comparison was only made because Leddy is also an RFA at the end of this season. Petro is a top 2 guy in this league. He would be on the top pairing for almost any team. Not sure how you would consider him a top 5?

          • Jimmy Derossi

            I meant top 5 d-man in the entire NHL. He was picked by many to win the Norris and for good reason.

          • Alex Hodschayan

            I love Pietrangelo, he is a great player, but he is not going to win the Norris this season. His defensive play is sub par and the national media ignores it due to his high offensive numbers, In the future he will have a shot, but this is not his year. Just my opinion.

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