How the NHL trade deadline helped the St. Louis Blues

The St. Louis Blues could have bought or sold at the 2024 NHL trade deadline, but they kept their team intact and could set themselves up for multiple playoff runs.

St Louis Blues v Boston Bruins
St Louis Blues v Boston Bruins / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages

The St. Louis Blues neither bought nor sold at the NHL trade deadline unless you count one irrelevant trade. And while you ideally wanted to see the team ‘buy,’ standing idle for the most part wasn’t a bad decision. Per The Fourth Period, star players Pavel Buchnevich and Colton Parayko were in the rumor mill, but ultimately, they remained in St. Louis, paving the way for potential playoff contention. 

While they are just 4-5-1 in their last 10 games four days following the deadline, the Blues 5-1 victory over the Boston Bruins on Monday night put them just six points out of the second wild card spot that the Vegas Golden Knights hold. This puts them well within striking distance that they otherwise would have relinquished had they moved Buchnevich or Parayko, among other assets. 

Buying at the trade deadline would have undoubtedly helped the Blues, but it also doesn’t hurt to ask whether doing so was necessary. Since winning the Stanley Cup in 2019, St. Louis has yet to make it past the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and they also failed to qualify for the playoffs last season after accumulating just 81 points. 

St. Louis Blues could have bought at the NHL trade deadline

This season has been up-and-down, putting St. Louis in a position similar to what the Calgary Flames found themselves in: They were talented enough to at least stick around on the outside looking in, but it was also clear they would have a tough time making the postseason with their current lineup. 

Calgary opted for the rebuild, trading away players like Nikita Zadorov and Elias Lindholm earlier in the year before subsequently moving Chris Tanev and Noah Hanifin. Don’t be surprised when the Flames also trade Jacob Markstrom and perhaps move a few others in the offseason, but that may not be the case for St. Louis. 

They could have bought at the deadline to improve the team with a rental in the short term, but it’s also clear general manager Doug Armstrong is thinking long term. That said, the Blues helped themselves by keeping everything as is. And there is a good chance Armstrong simply waits until the offseason before adding more talent to the team and making a run in 2024-25 and beyond. 

He has enough players signed to long-term deals to make this happen, and that is and was nowhere near the case in Calgary. So why not keep the team as is and make that one move in the offseason?


(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)