3 Reasons St. Louis Blues Should Not Trade For Matthew Tkachuk

Matthew Tkachuk (19)St. Louis BluesMandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Tkachuk (19)St. Louis BluesMandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Matthew Tkachuk (19)Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Tkachuk (19)Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

Don’t pay him

I love sports and I love sports fans. We are all some of the most loyal and passionate people in the world.

There are plenty of times when we are also some of the most foolish. When it comes to money and team finances, this is especially true.

I see so many comments on social media about getting that player or trading for those players, regardless of cost. The amount of chatter from people demanding the Blues acquire Carey Price was ridiculous, but the same people that never took into account the financial aspect of it was mind blowing.

A $10 million cap hit for one player would have destroyed the Blues. Price proved he could carry a team to the final, but you still need a team to win it.

The same is true of anyone that can score goals or play defense. It’s great to lay a claim to someone people might consider a top-10 player at any position.

Connor McDavid is proof that one man, no matter how talented, can’t do it alone. Tkachuk is not McDavid.

He’s not going to lead the Blues back to the promised land by himself. He would be a talented cog in the machine.

However, even with restricted free agent rights, Tkachuk is going to get paid. He is coming off a career year with over 100 points.

Even for a potential home town “discount”, you would be foolish to think Tkachuk will not demand a raise from the $7 million cap hit he had last season.

Maybe there are ways to back or front load a contract to get a cap hit manageable. Tkachuk was actually paid $9 million in 2021-22 by the Flames with that $7 million cap hit, so it’s plausible.

I just don’t foresee him getting less than a $8 million cap hit unless you give him a ridiculous amount of years. We’re barely into the deal and Blues fans are already regretting the term on Parayko’s contract.

Lengthy term or high-dollar cap hits are not a good value to a team like the Blues. They don’t have the ability to buy those out at the end and it hampers their ability to keep a deep team.

St. Louis won in 2019 because they could run four lines and run you into the ground, physically and mentally. You start paying your top end more than the $6.5-7.5 million that the Blues have been comfortable with and you’re taking away from the bottom portion of your roster.

Don’t get me wrong. In the right scenario, I would love to have a guy like Tkachuk wearing the Bluenote.

I would rather spend that extra $500,000-1 million on a fourth line player that I know will be able to play more than five minutes in the playoffs.

Even in 2021-22, the Blues were great because they had nine 20-goal scorers. I’d rather have nine of those than one guy who had 40-plus and maybe only four or five others that had over 20.

Perhaps I’m wrong and Tkachuk won’t ask for a big raise. Given the tumultuous relationship he has forged with the Calgary Flames and coming off a career season, I could foresee him asking for something close to $8.5-9 million.

The Blues should not pay that. They should not pay that in free agency and they should not trade an asset for Tkachuk’s rights just to pay that anyway.

In a vacuum, Tkachuk would be a good addition to the Blues based solely on his on-ice abilities. I don’t care if the Blues have a St. Louis guy or a team with no American-born players at all, as long as they win.

Next. Blues have a Binnington problem ahead.. dark

Given the likely financial cost, the potential cost in a trade and the lack of playoff production thus far, it’s a pass for me. I am comfortable in the minority on that issue, but I’d be willing to bet that the Blues would not win another championship if they over pay for this, or any, one player.