Over the course of the last 48 hours, it felt like the St. Louis Blues were going to swing a big trade with the Philadelphia Flyers. Unfortunately, it fell apart due to a player using their No Trade Clause.
We should be careful to point out that no official word has been released that it was Torey Krug in the deal. There is a slim possibility it was Colton Parayko and an even slimmer chance it was Justin Faulk.
All three players have no trade clauses in their contracts. All three are earning big-money deals that the Blues wouldn’t mind getting off their books.
Technically, it could have been Nick Leddy too, since he has a no trade clause. However, the money involved there likely doesn’t make sense from the Blues side.
In the rumored deal, the Blues would have brought in Kevin Hayes (center) and Travis Sanheim (defender). St. Louis was rumored to be sending out a defenseman with a no trade clause and one of their first-round draft picks.
We can argue the value of the trade, and I likely will in a different article soon. However, the usual vitriol spewed forth from social media calling Krug selfish and giving the fans another reason to dislike him and another example of a defender that can’t stay healthy ruining the team’s defense for next season.
If you don’t like Krug as a player, that’s your right. I can’t argue for him because he has not lived up to the hope of being a top-pair defender and has missed too many games to justify the role of being a power play quarterback and point producer.
What I can argue is, whether you want him gone or not, he has every right to use his no trade clause. That’s the very reason these players have it negotiated into their deal.
Ask yourself this – if you were a competitive player, why in the world would you want to go to Philadelphia right now? They’re clearly shedding pieces and going full rebuild.
The rumor shifted to Philly trying to swing Krug to a different team to keep the deal alive. If you are Krug, why would you ever be willing to accept the trade unless you knew with absolute certainty who the other team is?
You could accept the trade, having the word of the Flyers general manager they would trade you elsewhere, and then get stuck there if nobody else bites.
The argument that you’re getting paid either way holds no water either. If anything, the opposite would be true and you would want to be paid the same amount and play for a team willing to compete next season instead of just taking your money and not playing many meaningful games in 2023-24.
I think the fans that argue against a player using this power are short sighted and see things only through Blues-tinted glasses. Most of them have likely never had a negotiated contract either.
You don’t negotiate a no trade clause, or a no movement clause, into your deal just to accept a trade to wherever the team wants to send you. That negates the whole purpose of the clause and, really, the entire purpose of having a union. Teams used to be able to send whoever they wanted wherever they wanted and there wasn’t a thing they could do.
Without going into too much detail yet, I was on the side that favored the trade. It was not perfect and didn’t swing the needle incredibly far the other way, but it covered needs the Blues have and in a way that was cheaper than in the free agent market.
Yet, I don’t hold it against Krug, or Parayko or Faulk, for saying they don’t want to leave or they don’t want to go to the Flyers. Philadelphia had the second worst win percentage in the entire Eastern Conference.
Even though they’re worse than the Blues, they have an even worse cap situation than St. Louis. Unless you were a free agent, getting a big payday, why would you want to go there right now?
Krug had every right to nix this trade. Whether the Blues reform a different deal or move on remains to be seen, but you should only dislike Krug if you disliked him before. If you were in his shoes, you can’t honestly say you wouldn’t do the same thing.