One dream, one realistic, and one bargain player the St. Louis Blues can sign in NHL free agency

The St. Louis Blues enter NHL free agency with the option to bolster their forward units, but which three players should they target the most?
St. Louis Blues v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Six
St. Louis Blues v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Six / Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages
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Realistic Free Agent: Anthony Duclair, Tampa Bay Lightning

As a player who’s seen ice time in many NHL lineups, someone like Anthony Duclair could end up as a good fit just about anywhere. But the reason I have him as the ideal realistic free agent comes from a pair of reasons. The first one is obvious, as he won’t cost a ton of money in cap space to bring in, and another reason is that after a 239-goal season, few teams need complementary scoring more than the Blues. 

Had Duclair played in 56 games for the Tampa Bay Lightning and 17 for the San Jose Sharks instead of the opposite occurring, there’s a chance he would have garnered recognition as one of the league’s better scorers. While I doubt he would hit an 18.6 shooting percentage mark with the Blues, considering their inconsistencies with the puck, Duclair’s presence would add much-needed depth scoring, whether he’s registering goals or logging helpers. 

Assuming they keep him in town, Pavel Buchnevich is an above-average scorer, while Jordan Kyrou, Robert Thomas, and Jake Neighbours are just getting started. Recent history shows just how well Duclair plays when he’s got strong scoring units around him, which was what he had during his time with the Lightning and even throughout his stint with the Florida Panthers. 

Without Duclair, the Blues overall scoring will still improve thanks to their younger players adding another year to their respective experience. But if the Blues signed someone like Duclair or an equivalent player, look for their top scorers to perform at an even higher level.