New York Islanders
Don’t ask me why, but this is a hill I am ready to die on. Though the age thing would be a slight issue, I’d be more than happy if the Blues brought in Kyle Palmieri.
I had the good fortune to broadcast a couple of his games when he was on the US National Team that played in the NAHL against the St. Louis Bandits. He was a feisty player then and that continued into his pro career.
If, and I emphasize if, the Blues were forced to move on from Jaden Schwartz, Palmieri would be a very suitable replacement. Yes, he’s two years older, but they have a similar style and Palmieri is actually a hair higher in terms of goals per season.
You can argue about the motor and the driving the team stuff, but Palmieri fits the Blues quite well. He won’t give up on plays, throws the body around and keeps his turnovers low. He also drives to the net, which is something the current group doesn’t do regularly enough when playing hard teams.
I’m not going to turn this into a Schwartz vs. Palmieri thing because I think it would be great to have both. Price favors Palmieri though, unless something odd happened.
Palmieri got $4.65 million last season. Even with a raise, he shouldn’t get much more than what the Blues paid Schwartz in 2021. If Schwartz is looking for Schenn-type money, then keeping the money and getting a solid player like Palmieri instead might make more sense.
That will upset Blues fans, but Palmieri is worth the raise he might be in line for. Schwartz is not worth a raise from what he was already getting.