The St. Louis Blues sent shockwaves through the hockey world and Blues fans everywhere with the singing of defensemen Torey Krug, but fans should be optimistic about the signing regardless of the effects on Alex Pietrangelo.
Recently, the St. Louis Blues have built their franchise largely via the draft and trades. There have, however, been exceptions like David Perron and Pat Maroon, but what the Blues did with Torey Krug late Friday night shows important progress in future deals.
For whatever reason, St. Louis has not been a desirable destination for free agents whether for the Blues or the St. Louis Cardinals. This time, the Blues were able to snag one of the biggest names on the market this season.
Krug’s presence in St. Louis should help future players come to the gateway to the west. Why? Because the Krug signing shows the rest of the league that the Blues are players and will spend big market money to win.
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It is likely that Krug will be the only big splash in the Blues’ offseason because of the team’s current cap situation. Without moving players like Justin Faulk or Jaden Schwartz, Doug Armstrong will have a hard time finding room to sign other big-name stars.
The 2023 Blues team will look drastically different than the current version of the team.
The Seattle expansion draft and expiring contracts mean players like Perron, Tyler Bozak, Alexander Steen, and other players will be off the roster. Players like Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou will have to manage expanded responsibilities.
As long as the Blues keep winning, however, fans will not be able to think that free agent stars don’t want to come to St. Louis.
It’s clear that Armstrong has his hands on many different moves at any given time and will pull moves out of his hat when you are least expecting it – see Ryan O’Reilly‘s trade.
Whether it is Alex Pietrangelo‘s resigning, which is not out of the question according to a zoom meeting with Armstrong, or a Taylor Hall-type player joining the team, Armstrong has proven in the past that he will do whatever it takes to win.
Despite the lack of beaches or tax breaks, the St. Louis area has some of the greatest fans in sports. Players from around the league, not just former Blues greats, are starting to take notice that St. Louis is a great place to play hockey.
If the Blues’ run of glory comes to an end and the team falls back to mediocrity, then the pull of playing for a potential champion goes away. For now, however, the Blues are clearly a desirable place to play, perhaps more now than ever.