The St. Louis Blues are linked to several high-profile trade rumors. However, they might actually be limited in what they can acquire based on what they can offer.
The St. Louis Blues, like 90% of the teams in the NHL this time of year, are looking to improve themselves. Whether that means adding a big piece for right now or a smaller piece that might help further in the future is up to the team.
Clearly, the majority of Blues fans would like the team to add a relatively big piece. We’ve heard a litany of names. They range from Rick Nash or Mike Hoffman to Pat Maroon or Derick Brassard. There are a few other names sprinkled in here or there, with various degrees of actual possibility. The silliest would be Carey Price, mainly since it comes from those that think goalies are the root of and solution to all problems.
The problem is that the Blues actually do not have a ton to offer right now. Most of the rumor reports list guys like Nash or Evander Kane going for an asking rate of a player, a first round draft pick and a highly touted prospect.
The biggest issue the Blues have there is they do not have a first round pick in the upcoming 2018 NHL Draft. They sent that to the Philadelphia Flyers as part of the Brayden Schenn deal.
Clearly that is working out superbly since Schenn leads the team in goals and points. However, it hamstrings the team in what they can offer in the trade market compared to other teams.
There is a very slim chance the Blues will have that first round pick if they fall out of the playoffs and earn a top 10 draft slot. However, you’re not going to know that until well after the trade deadline and that would require quite a freefall from their current position.
The bottom line is that unless teams are willing to take first rounders from upcoming seasons, the Blues are out of luck in that department. That means you’re going to have to offer more current players or prospects.
Fans love the idea of unloading several current players. Regardless of what you think of any one guy, does it truly make sense to deal two or three current roster players for one?
In terms of prospects, the Blues are pretty deep. Again, are you willing to trade this team’s future for a present that does not look that bright?
If we single out names, the ones that seem likely to go, you’d probably say Alexander Steen, Patrik Berglund or Vladimir Sobotka are the likeliest to go from the roster. They would bring the biggest amount of fresh air with a departure and have enough value to be seen as a positive for another team.
Don’t get me wrong, I like these guys as individuals. They’ve put in a lot of tears and sweat for this franchise. However, they have not helped it get over the hump and there is a lingering feeling that the first two names could potentially be part of the problem.
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Steen and Berglund both joined the team in 2008-09. They’ve been through four coaches now. Every time a coach got fired, it was said they needed a fresh voice in the locker room. Maybe it’s time the locker room looked different than the coach.
We don’t know that either of those two players have anything wrong with them – though Steen was rumored to be heavily involved in wanting Ken Hitchcock out. They’re one of the last remnants of that core that came in with David Backes, David Perron and TJ Oshie though.
Perhaps it’s time to sweep that away. It would not guarantee success, but it might give the remaining players a new perspective.
Personally, I’d be fine if they traded either of the defenseman as long as you got a great return. For the forwards, if you put a gun to my head, I say Kyrou could be traded.
I think Kyrou will be a good NHL player, but he’s the one with the most risk. He has great skill, but he is small and the league is littered with guys that were great junior players but could not translate that success.
Thompson has the makings of a top-two center or at least a top-six winger. Thomas is unproven as of yet, but the word is that the team sees him as the replacement for Paul Stastny.
A player like Hoffman or any of the others could help you now, but do you really want to trade away the guys that could be your future two centers? We’ve seen that most championship teams are strong up the middle.
These are all questions that are of a personal nature and I can’t answer for you. The way the team has played, I would try to pick up a player that would only cost a mid-level pick and a lower-level prospect.
There is too much promise in some of those kids to give up on before we even have a hint.
If you can change up the locker room, I’m all for that. Those mentioned have been good Blues, but it might be time to move on. We may love them as people, but are we really going to cling to players just because we like them?
Time will tell if the Blues can even make a move. Fans will surely be enraged if no deals are made.
The fact is that it might be harder for the Blues, without that first rounder to entice anyone. Just because we want a deal does not mean they should mortgage the future just to say look what we did on deadline day. It would be great to make a splash on or before the 26, but will the Blues truly be better if they give up what some of these teams are asking. No, they would not.