The St. Louis Blues are getting pretty good at letting things just happen. David Perron is now gone and fans were made to just watch as it happened.
The St. Louis Blues did the expected during the NHL Expansion Draft. They let Las Vegas make their pick and gave up nothing in an attempt to change their minds.
The Blues let David Perron get selected by the Vegas Golden Knights – or is it Las Vegas Golden Knights? There is little continuity about that point. It was the expected move, but still a tiny bit frustrating.
I’m not here to defend Perron. He had his chances in the playoffs to make himself a more viable member of the team going forward.
People on social media were singing his praises because he was the team’s fourth leading scorer. 18 goals and 46 points were his highest totals since 2013-14.
Perron, at his best, has been quite inconsistent. He’s a capable scorer, but he’s unlikely going to be the missing piece for the Blues in their ongoing quest for a Stanley Cup.
I’m not here to bash him either though. Perron was a good player for the Blues in his one season back.
He learned to be more of a two-way player, even featuring on the penalty kill at times during the season. His biggest drawback was his habit of taking offensive zone penalties at bad times.
Nevertheless, he was not the player most wanted gone. Some are shedding fewer tears than others, but you are not going to find many who could not have made at least a vague argument for keeping Perron.
No, the issue comes with the Blues continuing failure to act. Doug Armstrong has a definitive vision of what he wants this team to become and how to accomplish that.
Kudos to him for sticking to his guns. Nobody else can seem to figure out how he’s accomplishing it though.
I’ve been a strong supporter of Armstrong and still refuse to say he’s doing a bad job. I am just, slowly, going over to the side that’s a little tired of him sitting on his hands.
Prior to the expansion draft, he flat-out said the Blues were not in the business of trading picks or prospects. How is the team supposed to get better then?
St. Louis, even with the departure of Perron, does not have the funds to make a big splash in free agency. This is a team capable of winning, but are still one or two pieces away.
Does it really make sense to trade draft picks away to simply get the Golden Knights to select Jori Lehtera? Probably not, but it would still help.
It is counter-intuitive to give a team something to make them take someone, but it might have been more beneficial in the short term.
You can never tell if any draft pick will pan out and Armstrong might not last to see the new crop even make it to the NHL. At this stage of the game, Perron would be more valuable to the team than Lehtera as well.
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I saw someone on Twitter say Lehtera is not the only player that needs to step up his game. That is true, but he’s the only one that has consistently been given chances to be a top-line center with a top-line winger and he just can’t find a way to do it.
He hasn’t performed any better further down the lineup either. If you can find a way to get rid of that contract while keeping some scoring around, then perhaps you do it.
The Blues did not do it. Fine. It is what it is. However, in typical Blues fashion, they try to explain it away.
In something that sounded like a statement straight out of a David Backes postgame, Armstrong made it sound like they’d miss Perron. “We knew we were going to lose a player that we didn’t want to lose. That’s the nature of the expansion draft,” Armstrong said.
The issue with that statement is Vegas plainly said they were open to discussing ways to let teams keep any players they wanted. So, there were ways the Blues could have had the Golden Knights pick someone else.
St. Louis just didn’t want to go down that route.
Again, that’s fine if that’s what you feel is best for the team. It’s just become frustrating trying to guess what is actually best for the team.
We hear about what the rest of the league is doing and how the Blues have to play some catchup. However, all they do is keep hoping their current players will adapt and live up to their potential.
That’s been Armstrong’s biggest downfall. Yes, you have to fill out a roster, but clearly he overvalues his own players because he’s made a habit of pushing the Blues up against the cap with a team that has mostly third-line caliber players.
Going through the draft without making a move should have come as no surprise. I wrote an article about how none of us should expect the Blues to do anything this week.
Still, there was always the hope of a curveball and instead we got the fastball.
I liked Perron and wish he was still on the Blues. I’m not going to shed tears over his departure though because he was not a must-have player.
It is more the overall situation of the general manager having too much focus on the future and not feeling like enough is done for today.