St. Louis Blues 2022 Trade Deadline Grade Gets A C

Nick Leddy (2)St. Louis BluesMandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Leddy (2)St. Louis BluesMandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /
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St. Louis Blues
Nick Leddy (2)Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

The St. Louis Blues went into the 2022 NHL trade deadline knowing they needed some defensive help. However, there were problems with that premise from the start.

The issue the Blues ran into was that they needed a top-four defender and, quite frankly, given how the pairings have worked out, they needed a top-pair defender. If you get to the trade deadline and need a top-two defenseman, you’re already in a world of hurt.

Compiling the Blues troubles was this was a year when it was a seller’s market for defensemen. While the returns were not mind boggling, the truth was almost all contenders needed defensive help, which made it harder to achieve for a team like St. Louis.

The Blues were already behind the eight ball. Teams knew what they needed and also knew the Blues weren’t in a great negotiating position.

The Blues did not have cap space. This meant they had to ask teams to either take a current NHL player in return or for those teams to retain salary.

Many of the teams willing to trade were bottom feeders. That meant they were mainly interested in draft picks and prospects. Adding or re-acquiring salary was not a priority and, in some cases, actively frowned upon.

So, the Blues were left with an ever lessening pool of talent from which to draw from. I’ll give Doug Armstrong credit. He still pulled off a trade.

Whether we agree or even like the trade is another matter.  Also another matter is comparing the real deal to the rumors, though I’d rather this deal than some of those suggested.

St. Louis acquired Nick Leddy and Luke Witkowski from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for Oskar Sundqvist, Jake Walman and a 2023 second round draft pick. Frankly, this trade gets a grade of a C in my book.

That’s not a reflection of Leddy in and of himself, but the overall aspect of the trade. There’s a lot of ideas behind the deal.

In terms of what the Blues gave up, it makes sense, but also seems odd.