It seems an age since the St. Louis Blues were actually rumored to be in talks for any big trades. However, what they might be seeking is not what they need.
The St. Louis Blues are actually being talked about in regards to some very interesting names in the trade market. Even their beat writer, Jeremy Rutherford, mentioned as much, which has become even more rare.
Now, that comes with a grain of salt. Rutherford is as good and reliable a source as any in the league. However, St. Louis is a market without much pressure, so the team only lets slip so much.
Rutherford is left to his own devices in that regard. He is connected enough to hear things through the grapevine, so if he says something would not surprise him, it is entirely possible.
However, that does not mean it will happen. Fans should always be wary of any trade talk. There were big rumors about a Shattrnkirk to Edmonton deal and it fell through.
Despite all these claims that it should not be surprising, I am surprised the Blues are being mentioned with the players they are. The most recent names to pop up were Jonathan Drouin and Jordan Eberle.
Talent-wise, that is more than alright if the Blues could swing it. From a pure team perspective, you scratch your head a little bit.
The Blues are in dire need of a center. Paul Stastny is still a very talented player. He is no longer a top-line center, if he ever truly was.
He is simply the best the Blues have right now. That, in and of itself, says a lot though.
As much as we love our Blues and every guy that dons the note, if we are real, the team has mostly third-line caliber players. There are some second-line caliber guys, such as Stastny or Alexander Steen, but overall the team is stretching their talent as far as it will go.
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That’s why these recent trade rumors are more than welcome, but puzzling. St. Louis has seemed more than willing to stick with their roster unless they could add something up the middle.
Now, it seems the Blues are acknowledging that getting help at center might be too tough, so adding pure talent will be enough.
Imagine a top six featuring Tarasenko, Schwartz, Robby Fabbri and Drouin/Eberle. Even if you don’t think one of them is a top liner, that’s a hell of a scoring four.
That’s pretty difficult to defend each winger, let alone two. Maybe the center would not matter much.
On the other hand, Tarasenko is already a 40 goal scorer with a center that can barely break 20 points now. If you add a legitimate top-line center, maybe he explodes for 50 goals and 90 points.
Apparently the going rate for centers is extremely high. As Rutherford pointed out in his mailbag, the Blues are likely not even going to bother with Matt Duchene since the Avalanche are asking for the farm.
You might be able to swing a friendlier deal with the New York Islanders for John Tavares. He might cost more than the Blues can afford from a salary standpoint once his free agency comes about.
It is still difficult to wrap the brain around the concept of adding more wingers though. If you could add a guy that is a definitive threat, then you have to.
However, when we have been beaten over the head with the idea that it needs to be a center, it becomes difficult to deviate. That’s why these guys get paid the big bucks though.
Fans can argue until they are blue in the face about Armstrong’s abilities, but he is still a decent general manager. If he could pull off a trade to bring in a consistent 50 point scorer, that would be huge for the continuing development of this franchise.
We all want a guy that will set up Tarasenko left and right, the way Oates used to for Hull. That is the dream.
The reality is, perhaps another sniping player would not be a bad thing. The Blues have a habit of not shooting enough in key situations as it is. If a fresh face could break that mold, you would not hear much complaining.
We’d all take either of the two rumored guys in a heartbeat. We can’t be disappointed if they don’t come though.
What it does do, for sure, is open up the possibilities. We can’t deny any potential trade simply because it does not involve a center anymore.