The St. Louis Blues are in a position to upgrade their roster at the trade deadline after a stellar first half. However, the Seattle Kraken are going in an opposite direction and could be intriguing trade partners.
It’s almost the more exciting time of the year for St. Louis Bleus fans, the trade deadline. It’s the season where expectations and intrigue are at their highest and the excitement levels of different trade possibilities stir conversations and your favorite establishments.
For the Blues, sitting three points out of first place in the Western Conference nets the conversation about who the Blues could target for an upgrade to the roster.
The Seattle Kraken come to St. Louis for the first time in their team’s history, and it will be a good time for general manager Doug Armstrong to evaluate potential trade pieces.
The Kraken have performed like you would expect an expansion team to perform in their first season. In the Pacific Division, they sit in last place with just 24 points and 10 regulation wins in 35 attempts.
One of the most significant issues the Blues need to address on their team is the defense. St. Louis has unbelievable forward depth and has been able to sustain their offensive output despite not having a full lineup all season.
Seattle has a pair of defensemen that could be intriguing for the Blues to take a look at. In the expansion draft, St. Louis lost Vince Dunn to the Kraken, but he doesn’t make the list for players the Blues should target.
First on the list for the Blues should be defenseman Jamie Oleksiak. Seattle signed Oleksiak to a five-year, $23 million deal in the offseason, and his cap hit is only $4.6 million, which would be a lot more manageable than other potential targets.
The Kraken undoubtedly see Oleksiak as a critical piece to their defensive core going into the future. Still, if the Blues could offer enough for a good return, Seattle might be inclined to move on from the 6’7″ blueliner.
He has produced relatively well offensively this season, scoring a goal and adding 10 assists in 34 games for the Kraken. However, his addition would give the Blues even more size on the blue line to make life harder for the additional physical teams in the Central Division.
The second and final intriguing trade candidate on the Kraken is captain Mark Giordano. The Kraken captain can bring some valuable experience to the Blues after having played 16 NHL seasons, 15 with the Calgary Flames.
This deal would be exponentially harder to pull off for Armstrong because Giordano holds a $6.750 million cap hit. Make no mistake, Giordano is not a $6 million player anymore, but Seattle has plenty of cap room to take on a significant portion of his contract in a potential deal.
The former Flame has been just as productive as Oleksiak this season, scoring four goals and adding seven assists in 29 games this season, but the former Norris Trophy winner would bring great experience to St. Louis.
Seattle constructed its team much more differently than Vegas did when they came into the league, but there are a few pieces that will no doubt get moved, and the Blues will get an upfront and personal view of the expansion team on Thursday night.