Do the St. Louis Blues need a "Big Three" to be successful?

Seattle Kraken v St Louis Blues
Seattle Kraken v St Louis Blues / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages

While the NBA is famous for its "big three," many fans within the NHL also embrace this concept.

Both statistically and in terms of their contracts, the St. Louis Blues have built their team chemistry around the pivotal roles of Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou.

In terms of total points, Pavel Buchnevich has been among the top three contributors who have worn a Blues uniform within the last three years. Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou have found themselves twice in the top three spots within the previous three years.

Realizing that general manager Doug Armstrong is building around Thomas and Kyrou, the Blues should consider adding a third young player to complement them.

Credit Buchnevich, as his stats have made him a more consistent player than Thomas and Kyrou. However, Buchnevich is also 29 years old. His contract expiring after the 2024-25 season indicates a genuine focus on Thomas and Kyrou, who have much longer existing contracts, highlighting the commitment to youth.

Is a big three necessary to win in the NHL?

Not exactly, but it certainly helps. While each team is constructed differently, a common outlook becomes apparent when evaluating the elite NHL teams. The Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers have three key players recording high points.

Colorado Avalanche

Nathan MacKinnon: 140 points.
Mikko Rantanen: 104 points.
Cale Makar: 90 points.

Florida Panthers

Sam Reinhart: 94 points.
Matthew Tkachuk: 88 points.
Aleksander Barkov: 80 points.

The Avalanche numbers are impressive, demonstrating their team's extreme depth and talent.

However, not every team has a big three, and some well-respected units resemble the current St. Louis Blues roster, including the Boston Bruins and Vegas Golden Knights. The Bruins, led by David Pastrnak and his 110 points, are perhaps a bit of an exception here due to his status as a super-star.

The Vegas Golden Knights three best players (in terms of points) are a completely different story, almost mirroring the top-three-point leaders of the Blues.  

A big three still helps

As the playoffs stand today, the Golden Knights are out of the competition. So, using them as an example is perhaps irrelevant. On the contrary, the Panthers and Avalanche are still competing for the next round.

Although a big three squad is helpful, it does not ensure success. A notable example of disappointment has consistently been the Toronto Maple Leafs, a loaded roster that continuously underperforms on paper and in mere statistics.

A big three unit can typically create a dynasty of talent if the contracts remain locked in for years to come. Yet, there are instances where this mentality does not hold true, and the Bruins serve as evidence of this. They attain success by emphasizing team unity, rectifying shortcomings, and fielding a highly competitive squad.

Regardless of the approach, with Thomas and Kyrou consistently producing high numbers, the Blues will be well-positioned to challenge any team in the league.