The St. Louis Blues corner of the internet is determined to be right, damnit. They’ll have Vladimir Tarasenko traded away come hell or high water.
Ok, that’s a bit over the top. However, with the return of the trade rumors, I can’t help but browse all the various facepalm memes and GIFs the internet has to offer.
Contrary to the way I write my articles, I don’t really believe myself smarter than the next guy. However, it’s hard not to wonder what drugs people are on when they cook up some of these screwy ideas.
First off, didn’t we have enough Tarasenko rumors for a lifetime last offseason? Why would it be so hard to believe that Tarasenko might be willing to stay on a team that still has a Stanley Cup window and he’s coming off a career-best 82-point season?
Just because Tarasenko did not climb to the mountain tops and profess his undying love for the franchise, we have to assume he wants out? Some people change their minds, don’t let anyone know, and go about their life.
Secondly, even if the team were pursuing something, I guarantee we would not know about it.
When did we know about the Justin Faulk trade? The day it happened.
When did we find out the Blues were acquiring Ryan O’Reilly. Maybe there were vague rumors, simply because he was vocal about wanting to get out, but there was no real word until it happened.
Everyone assumed the Blues were saddled with albatross contracts like Dmitrij Jaskin or Jori Lehtera. We thought a trade was impossible until Armstrong pulled the trigger.
The only reason Torey Krug got mentioned for the Blues was as a fail safe in case St. Louis didn’t re-sign Alex Pietrangelo. The Blues still shocked the public by getting Krug first.
The bottom line is that 99 times out of 100, we don’t know what Doug Armstrong is doing until it’s done. I forget who said it a few years back, but it is true – Armstrong plays things close to the vest and does not leak information.
Therefore, if we hear about a rumor involving the Blues, it did not come from the Blues. That does not automatically make it false, but it means it’s coming from someone with a vested interest.
While I admit no proof, I would put money on all the Tarasenko talk coming directly from the agent. The Blues never said much and Tarasenko never responded, so I believe the agent was trying to drum up interest whether his client really wanted it or not.
The same could be true now, only it could be other teams spreading misinformation. Or it could be true, from a certain point of view, but never happens.
The Blues were rumored to be the front runner to get Ryan McDonough. Suddenly, he was in Nashville.
Some of this stuff is just made up fan nonsense. I don’t care who had the lack of sense to possibly report on it, but the talk of Krug and Tarasenko for Sidney Crosby was just laughable.
In what world does that make sense for anyone? It doesn’t.
Tarasenko just scored 34 goals and 82 points. Crosby had 31 and 84. What are you really gaining there?
Crosby is going to be 35 by the time the season starts. Tarasenko is still 30 and turns 31 after the season begins.
People complain about Tarasenko’s injury history. We all thought Crosby would be lucky to play until he was 30 due to his injury and concussion problems.
That’s just those two, one vs. one. Include Krug in that mix and it’s a completely different scenario.
Say what you will about Krug vs. Pietrangelo, but the bottom line is he’s still a top pair defender – top four at the worst. Those don’t grow on trees.
Some will tell me trading Krug allows the Blues to keep Nick Leddy. That’s fine, but Leddy was an addition last season.
Trade Krug and you’re still short a quality defender and asking guys to play higher than their current caliber. Maybe Scott Perunovich becomes the next Krug, or better, but he’s not there yet. He’s a defensive liability and his lack of ice time in the 2022 playoffs was not simply due to him returning from injury.
If you trade Krug, you’re right back to where you were in needing to fill out your defensive depth. The playoffs showed that the Blues were ok if healthy, but lacked the blue line depth to hang with the high flyers.
Krug missed 18 games and still finished 11th on the team in scoring. If you’re willing to give up on that, plus a 30-plus goal scorer for an aging star that wouldn’t move the needle much in St. Louis, kudos to you. Crosby is great, but he simply doesn’t make the Blues much better if you’re making those subtractions.
The funny thing is everyone jumped all over that rumor, whether they thought it was serious or just as a laugh. There was only one reader of ours that seemed to notice Andy Strickland say it seems likely Tarasenko stays again.
But, keep on churning out those rumors. Forget about the cap space and who the Blues still have to sign.
Make your fantasy moves. Just don’t whine about it when they don’t happen.