The St. Louis Blues are definitely in need of a facelift heading into the 2023-24 season. They went from being a healthy goaltender away from potentially playing in a Stanley Cup Final in 2022 to a non-playoff contender in 2023.
It goes without saying that the guys on the roster in 2022-23 did not perform up to expectations. Jordan Kyrou was the only one that probably did what the team needed, with 37 goals, and even he disappeared for long stretches.
It cannot be said that the Blues were as offensively potent as you’d like this past season. They did drop from 309 goals in 2021-22 to 260 in 2022-23.
However, offense was really not the team’s problem in terms of needing more. They simply needed more from the guys they had, not necessarily a big addition.
That’s why adding someone like Alex DeBrincat does not make sense. It would be like trying to stuff a wine cork in a hole in the dam.
DeBrincat can score. He’s one season removed from having 41 goals and scored 32. He’s scored 41 goals twice and 50-plus points in five of his six seasons.
However, while the Blues might need a little extra scoring, they need defending even more. In six NHL seasons, DeBrincat is an eye-boggling minus-45.
He was an insane minus-31 for the Ottawa Senators in 2022-23. While some might say that’s just not his game, that’s true. The issue is the Blues need someone who that is there game – to play some defense.
Proponents of a potential deal might say that DeBrincat has gotten more physical, picking up over 100 hits the last two seasons. His career high is 109. To put that in perspective, Tyler Pitlick had 103 hits last season in 4th-line minutes and Sammy Blais had 119 hits in 31 games.
The one reason a potential deal for DeBrincat might be of interest is his health. Despite being only 5’8, he rarely misses games.
He has played all 82 in four seasons and the other two, games were missed due to the covid situation, not really injury. Even so, he simply wouldn’t make that big of an impact.
St. Louis is in desperate need of defense and centers. DeBrincat barely takes any faceoffs and wins even fewer. So, beyond some goals, what would he add?
A little extra speed? Perhaps.
The Blues were not incredibly fast in 2022-23, but one quick player would not really change their fortunes.
It should be said that this isn’t really even a rumor. It was more a talking point.
DeBrincat has submitted a list of teams he is willing to be traded to. That list has not become public, so analysts have been trying to guess.
Bruce Garrioch, among a couple others, suggested Doug Armstrong would be more than interested if the Blues are on that list. Frankly, I disagree.
I agree with the point made on BK and Ferrario. The only reason you make a trade for DeBrincat is if you can get the Senators to take the Torey Krug.
Even then, you’re right back where you started. DeBrincat might be a restricted free agent, but he would still likely cost you around $6.5 million at least.
So, you’re trading money for money and then you still need another defenseman. I want to think Scott Perunovich has a future, but he’s more injury prone than Krug has been in his short Blues tenure. You simply can’t count on that.
Additionally, Perunovich has not shown he can defend any better than Krug. You need a proven defender that will help solidify things in the back and that’s not going to be found for the money the Blues have in cap space.
The funny thing is there will undoubtedly be fans that would be on board with a potential deal to bring the former Blackhawk in. The even funnier thing is many of those same fans whine about the lack of defensive efforts of Kyrou.
So, you bring in a player that is just as defensively lapse or worse? No thank you.
Like all Blues fans, I want the best for this team. Unlike many, I trust in Doug Armstrong.
If Armstrong made the deal, I would figure the trade was worth it. On the surface, however, I say the trade is not worth it.
It would not help and the Blues need plenty of help.