Recently, Elliotte Friedman of CBCSports posted an article containing quotes from each NHL team’s general manager. In the article, 30 Thoughts: Many GMs Feel Trade Deadline Too Inflationary, Friedman touched on the hot topics for every team, including the St. Louis Blues.
After watching a guy like Shea Weber get an offer sheet from the Philadelphia Flyers that will all but bankrupt the future of the Nashville Predators, some fans may wonder if the Blues will be able to keep their top two RFA’s this offseason, Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk. According to Friedman,
Blues GM Doug Armstrong said Sunday he isn’t worried about it: “You sign bad contracts when you sign contracts out of fear. We have stable ownership. We’ll match any offer sheet…We will get them signed at contracts everyone is comfortable with.” Armstrong added that “we’ve yet to see an offer sheet work with top-end players.” Shattenkirk also has arbitration rights, which would eliminate the possibility of an offer sheet.
So while some may be worried that Armstrong would be unable to keep the two in St. Louis, it looks like he will do everything in his power, along with ownership, to keep the young defensemen in St. Louis as long as possible.
Even without Shattenkirk and Pietrangelo, Armstrong will have some tough decisions to make this offseason with Chris Stewart, Patrik Beglund, Matt D’Agostini, Kris Russell, Ian Cole, and Jake Allen all being restricted free agents as well. The Blues have had a focus on keeping homegrown talent in the Note, but Stewart, Shattenkirk, D’Agostini, and Russell were all acquired through trades. Heading into the trade deadline, Armstrong may look to make his job a little easier in July by moving one or more of these players. There is no telling if guys like D’Agostini or Russell could have a future in St. Louis and they are often healthy scratches. Friedman’s article went on to say,
The Blues have some big-time choices to make with RFAs, including Chris Stewart and Patrik Berglund. “With RFAs, you have time. There’s no sense in creating conflict,” Armstrong said. “Our fans have seen enough of the business side, let’s see competition take over — have a good year and worry about it at the proper time.”
No matter what happens at the deadline, the St. Louis Blues are in good hands with Doug Armstrong making the calls. Let’s hope we can wrap up Petro and Shatty long term while managing to keep Berglund and Stewart.
LET’S GO BLUES!