3 free agent forwards from the Eastern Conference the St. Louis Blues must avoid

The St. Louis Blues could bring a few free agents from the Eastern Conference to Gateway City, but there are a few they’re better off going without.
Feb 13, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington (50) makes a save
Feb 13, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington (50) makes a save / John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
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While we have talked about numerous free agents the St. Louis Blues would do well to go after in the Western Conference, especially some much-needed forwards. But we haven’t spoken much about what the Eastern Conference offers. And while there are a plethora of free agents who would reward general manager Doug Armstrong if he signed them, there are others who he needs to be apprehensive about. 

To be more frank, if Armstrong isn’t 100 percent sure a forward can help his team fare better in the offensive zone than they did last season, he’s better off keeping away from them and looking elsewhere. While quite a few players fit that criteria, there are three who he should cross off of his list of potential signees immediately. 

Dominik Kubalik, Ottawa Senators

If the Blues wanted someone who could bring serviceable depth, Dominik Kubalik would make sense on the surface. He’s a lower-liner who has, at times during his career, given his respective teams a complete game. And that’s something he could bring to Gateway City if Doug Armstrong wanted to sign him. 

The problem involving Kubalik, however, is that he’s coming off a major career-low in points, and by major, I mean 15 in 74 contests. Sure, he has given the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings more than just solid campaigns, scoring as many as 30 goals during his first season in the Windy City. 

If Kubalik even put up a 20-goal season this past year like he did in 2022-23 with the Red Wings, the Blues would do well to sign him this summer as he would have made for a solid depth scorer. But instead, Kubalik showed us that he’s inconsistent from year to year, going from 15 goals in 2021-22 to 20 last year, and a measly 11 this season. 

Okay, so Kubalik isn’t scoring, but were the Senators finding twine when he was in the game? At even strength, he was on the ice for just 19 goals for and 47 against. His on-ice shooting percentage sat at just 6.3 percent, so no, he wasn’t a factor for the Senators in scoring. 

The reason all of the above is important is very simple: The Blues need someone who can help them find the back of the net more consistently. Kubalik isn’t that player, even if he’s done so in past campaigns.