Some fans are going to wonder why other options were not listed here. The main reason is it’s not likely or wouldn’t make much sense for Seattle.
There are other options for the Blues, but they might be more complicated. St. Louis has enough defensive depth that they could move on from Vince Dunn, but that would involve signing him simply to let him be selected in the expansion draft.
The same is true for someone like Zach Sanford. The Blues don’t appear interested in losing Sanford, but even if they were, it would involve backdoor discussions with Seattle about what that contract would be so that Sanford could be signed prior to the draft.
If you’re going to expose a name as big as Jaden Schwartz, it would also require some sort of handshake on someone’s part that he would sign with the Kraken afterward. Teams are under no obligation to sign their pending free agents prior to the expansion draft, and some might say it would be smart not to.
However, you do still risk the Kraken taking their own chance and drafting someone’s free agent rights just to have an exclusive negotiating window. The team that tries that also risks alienating the player.
For example, if the Blues don’t sign Schwartz and expose him, but Seattle does not take him, why would he want to give the Blues any benefit of the doubt? He was clearly a pawn in that situation and might say the team did not have the confidence in him to sign him and protect him. It’s risky no matter what.
Maybe the Blues come completely out of left field and put a bigger name on the exposed list. There’s lots of Facebook chatter about exposing Vladimir Tarasenko, but that makes zero sense.
Even if he is not what he once was, there really isn’t that type of scorer in this year’s free agent class. Overall, these three names make the most sense.
They have term left on their contracts. They are players the Blues would want to keep, but would not be completely lost without.
Each of them are making $1 million or more, so you would gain a little cap relief in the process too. It all boils down to what the Seattle Kraken are looking for.