May 12, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs center Mikhail Grabovski (84) drives to the net with the puck against the Boston Bruins during game six of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs at the Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs beat the Bruins 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Free Agency: St. Louis Blues Aim to Add a Top Line Center


St. Louis Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong is looking to be active in free agency with the biggest need being a point producing center.

The Blues chased after Vincent Lecavalier, Danny Briere, and have most likely explored their options via trade.

When the NHL’s free agency period begins in just under an hour, the Blues may be targeting some of the bigger names that could fill their holes up the middle.

So just who are the Blues looking at?  Well, to name a few, Mike Ribeiro, Mikhail Grabovski, Stephen Weiss, Tyler Bozak, and Derek Roy.

Ribeiro would be a long shot for the Blues given that he is looking for a long term deal around $5 million per season.  While the Blues may be willing to pay that price over two to three years, it is unlikely Armstrong would be willing to lock that much salary up in an aging center.  Still, Ribeiro has a ton of talent and you never know.

Grabovski was just bought out by the Toronto Maple Leafs and for a reason.  His production was down and the team no longer relied on him to be the player that they thought he could be.  Grabovski’s play in the KHL raised more than a few eyebrows, but his production in the NHL made many question his real ability.  The Blues may like that Grabovski would be a helping hand to Vladimir Tarasenko who is still adapting to the North American game.  Price will be the determining factor here.

Stephen Weiss is going to command a lot in this free agent market, and it may not be worth the effort for the Blues.  With so many teams approaching Weiss, the price is sure to go higher than his play has dictated.

Tyler Bozak is still a great option for the club and comes at an age that would fit with the rest of the Blues core.  Armstrong could make a big push for Bozak but if the price gets too high don’t expect him to get in a bidding war.

Finally Derek Roy would be a great addition to the Blues, but again price will be the biggest factor.  Roy has been passed around quite a bit throughout the past two season which may not help him claim the big money he could be looking for.  If a team was willing to give him a longer deal I think that he might take a price cut.

Who do you think the Blues will target?  Will they land a big name center this offseason?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

LET’S GO BLUES!

-Alex Hodschayan

Tags: Center Derek Roy Featured Free Agency Mike Ribeiro Mikhail Grabovski Popular St. Louis Blues Stephen Weiss Tyler Bozak Vincent Lecavalier Vladimir Tarasenko