The St. Louis Blues only made one big move in the 2018 NHL Trade Deadline. While it was a bigger move, it clearly points the focus to the future as opposed to this season.
The St. Louis Blues made a bold choice for the deadline day moves, or move should we say. Their trade that sent Paul Stastny to the Winnipeg Jets ended up being their only deal of the day.
That has given the fans a very mixed reaction. Some are glad that they dumped the contract and others are furious that the team added nothing for any potential playoff push.
We will get into the fan reaction in a moment. The bottom line is that management is telling this current group of players they are not good enough to deserve help.
You can lay blame where you want. Clearly Doug Armstrong has to shoulder some of the blame since he assembled this team. Mike Yeo deserves some because his management of the special teams has been truly awful. The players must take blame too.
The current group of players saw this team get off to a record start to the season. That means the talent is in there to defeat anyone. It is their mental makeup and leadership that must be questioned after this disastrous tail spin.
That’s where you get into the vicious circle. You blame the players and that gives fuel to the Armstrong haters to say he chose the players, and round and round we go.
The truth of the matter is that this current squad was not going anywhere. They were not going to make a run like the LA Kings did years ago. It stings to lose a top-six forward and not get anything immediate in return for this season or possibly even next. The Blues are laying the groundwork for the summer though.
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St. Louis is retaining part of Stastny’s contract for this season, which only gave them about $3.8 million in cap space to work at this deadline. By the time the summer rolls around, they will have the full $7 million in space when Stastny becomes a free agent.
The Blues got an important piece with the 2018 first round pick. They can either select someone with that or trade it on draft day. Not having that pick held the Blues back on several potential deals during this deadline.
On top of all that, there is the issue of what actually got moved. Pat Maroon went for a third round pick. That’s about the only player the Blues should have been after that went for something that was truly affordable. The rest just were not worth it.
Evander Kane brought Buffalo the same kind of haul the Blues got for Stastny. Kane is a good player, but he’s already moved teams twice. Franchise changing players don’t move too often.
Rick Nash is too old, not producing enough and cost way too much. What else was there? Mike Hoffman and Max Pacioretty seem to have stayed put, though the Hoffman deal could be on at a later date.
It’s all well and good to hate on the GM for a lack of moves. When it seems that no moves made would have actually benefited the team, what would be the point though? I do not get this notion that moves must be made for the sake of it. The Blues did that under Ron Caron, often to disastrous effect.
Even I am disappointed that the Blues essentially gave up on this season by subtracting and bringing nothing in return for today. However, a message had to be sent. Players are crying over their friend and why I sympathize, I do not empathize. Play better the last month and Stastny would not have been traded.
This team needs to look in the mirror. The GM and coach do as well, but given the circumstances, there was not much else they could do. You can scream and yell only so much before more drastic measures must be taken.
It sucks to think this team might actually miss the playoffs. I fully expect them to be an improved team over the summer though.
Now that I’ve had my say, here are some of the fan reactions:
Those were the clean ones. There were several that were worthy of inclusion based on passion, but left out due to language. Just a personal choice there.
Clearly the fans are pretty split about this. Many think the next couple months did not matter anyway. Many are disappointed the team did not add a player for this year’s NHL roster.
What will be interesting is who gets moved around for the Blues. They are now without a number two center and they have been reluctant to play Tage Thompson in the middle.
Does Vladimir Sobotka get moved to the center? Will Thompson see some minutes there? Time will tell. Personally, if you think the playoffs are gone, put Thompson there to get acclimated.
We will see. It is definitely a look to the horizon kind of time right now though.