With the NHL season dwindling down and the impending trade deadline approaching, it seems as if trade rumors are becoming more widespread and outrageous.
On April 3, at 3 PM ET, the trade deadline will expire. Therefore, all NHL teams will be on edge while making any last minute decisions over the next few days about trading one of their very own or work through any pending negotiations.
Numerous rumors have made the rounds but very few have established themselves as the truth. One of the most outlandish rumors that I have come across recently is the February 27th posting by Hildymac at St. Louis Game Time, stating that the Philadelphia Flyers may be interested in Defensemen, Kevin Shattenkirk. Hildymac is very clear that this rumor does not seem reasonable throughout the aforementioned post and I have to say that I completely agree. Who wouldn’t be interested in Shattenkirk? I cannot see any merit with this specific rumor and doubt that the St. Louis Blues would part with Shattenkirk. He would be a great trade for the receiving team; however, I think he is a vital player with the Blues that has proven that he has the drive and stamina to put the pressure on our opponents when needed, while increasing his overall confidence and experience as a true professional hockey player.
St. Louis Blues General Manager, Doug Armstrong, recently shot down the rumor that Goaltender, Jaroslav Halak, would be a likely trade candidate. Now that Goaltender, Jake Allen, has been assigned to the Peoria Rivermen once again, that leaves Brian Elliott as the back-up Goaltender. Due to the lack of ice time in February and March, I wonder if Elliott can reignite the fire and passion that he was able to control and emulate during the 2011-2012 hockey season. Elliott has been assigned to Peoria for conditioning and started in two games this week. Elliott plans to return to the Blues after the March 30th Peoria game. We need someone to fully support the team, as well as Halak, when needed. Does Elliott have what it takes to bring back some of what he exuded last season?
We recently learned that the rumors surrounding the trade of veteran Defenseman, Jordan Leopold, of the Buffalo Sabres, were true, as the St. Louis Blues acquired him on March 30th. Perhaps Head Coach, Ken Hitchcock, will place Leopold with Defenseman and Assistant Captain, Alex Pietrangelo.
With the limited amount of time left to make any important decisions with the team, I am curious to learn if any changes will occur over the next few days with the St. Louis Blues. Will management choose to trade Forward, David Perron or Defensemen, Ian Cole, Kris Russell or Wade Redden? What impact would a trade like this have on the rest of the team? Would a drastic change in the roster hinder the existing rhythm with the Blues or is this something that may charge the spark and help us deliver a more consistent performance from the entire team that we witnessed earlier in the 2013 hockey season?
No matter what rumors you choose to believe or discount, I have faith in the management of the St. Louis Blues to present all of us die hard Blues fans with what they have chosen as their final decision. Hopefully their choices will prove that our home team can come together with more focus and excitement to block our opponents, apply pressure when needed, and abandon any fear that the St. Louis Blues are not a contender for not only the Playoffs in 2013, but the end goal of winning the Stanley Cup for the very first time. Lets go Blues!