Mar 3, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott (1) makes a save on Dallas Stars center Ryan Garbutt (40) during the second period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The St. Louis Blues are in a unique situation carrying three goaltenders on their current roster. While the Blues may not be willing to part ways with Brian Elliott just yet, it appears that Jake Allen is the real deal and isn’t going anywhere just yet.
Surely the Blues will not want to place Elliott on waivers as he is sure to be picked up by someone, but can the Blues move Elliott? Andy Strickland seems to believe that there is still a trade market out there for Elliott and according to the Edmonton Journal, the Tampa Bay Lightning may be the best trade partner.
The Lightning have had a less than decent season this year, and after firing their head coach and dealing with numerous injuries, they may be looking to make some changes.
On Thursday, March 21st, the Lightning found out that they had lost Anders Lindback to a high ankle sprain. Lindback is currently out indefinitely with no timetable for return. When Lindback went down, Mathieu Garon was set to take over in net, but he has been dealing with injuries of his own this season, not to mention a terrible record. While Lindback is out, the Lightning have recalled Cedrick Desjardins from the Syracuse Crunch. At the end of this season both Desjardins and Garon are set to become unrestricted free agents.
So what could a trade to the Lightning look like?
Surely the Lightning won’t be looking to bring them both back and Garon is likely to be the odd man out. At 35 years of age, Garon is running out of options in the NHL and may soon have to call it quits on his career. Right now, the Blues just need to make a move to open up a roster spot and acquire someone to fill the role of starter in Peoria. While Mike McKenna has had some recent success down there, he is not an option to recall in case of injury to Halak or Allen. Garon would give the Blues a rental option for the rest of the year until next season when Jordan Binnington will likely take over for the Rivermen. Garon would be an adequate backup in case of injury to Halak or Allen, but the Blues would surely not want to keep him past this season.
Mar 24, 2013; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Cedrick Desjardins (30) makes a save during the second period against the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
The other option would be to look at acquiring Cedrick Desjardins who has appeared in only 5 NHL games. At just 27 years of age, Desjardins has never found a home with a team that was willing to give him NHL time, and the Blues could look to add him to be the starter for the Rivermen. This is an option that Blues GM Doug Armstrong would probably prefer, but would the Lightning be willing to make the move? If so, the Blues would have a dedicated starter for the Rivermen that could potentially serve as a backup in case of injury, but would more than likely be the dedicated starter for the Rivermen. Desjardin would be a likely option for the Blues to keep past this season to allow Binnington to start in a backup role while he learns the ropes in the AHL.
The final option could be the Blues moving Elliott to the Lightning for a draft pick. Currently Elliott’s value is very low and the pick would most likely not be a substantial one. With the Lightning in desperate need of a netminder, they may be willing to overpay just a bit. Elliott is signed into next season and that would give the Lightning the tandem of Lindback and Elliott, which sounds a lot better than their current options.
Let’s hope GM Doug Armstrong finds a way to move Elliott so that he can get the playing time he deserves, but I don’t think Armstrong will move him without a fair return.
Stay posted as we will have more trade coverage as the deadline approaches.
LET’S GO BLUES!