One Key Area for the St. Louis Blues to Focus on This Off-Season

2019 Hockey Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony
2019 Hockey Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

With a middle-of-the-pack ranking in combined stats, the St. Louis Blues are in a good position to compete for the playoffs in the upcoming season.

Robert Thomas's upside and Jordan Kyrou's strong play are positives that general manager Doug Armstrong must build upon.

When examining the Blues contracts and commitments, it becomes apparent that defensive changes are necessary.


First, give props to Justin Faulk, who has consistently been one of the top defenders with the Blues for the last three years. However, for those interested in fantasy play, the Blues didn't have a single player ranked in the top fifty defensemen in April, highlighting the team's area of weakness.

Ironically, Torey Krug, Colton Parayko, and Faulk all have similar contracts, averaging around $6.5 million a year. Faulk and Krug's contracts will expire before the 2027 season starts, while Parayko's contract extends for a longer duration.

The contracts are generous for each of the three top defensemen and highlight an area of concern.

Armstrong is overpaying defensemen

Comparing the Blues to two division rivals, the Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks, there are some notable differences in contracts for defensemen.

The Blues don't have a paid star like Miro Heiskanen or Seth Jones. However, both Heiskanen and Jones receive star-level pay, and their contracts reflect their expected talent, as they both earn significantly more than any other defensemen on their team.

Did Armstrong strategically plan this out? Did he neglect to get a top defenseman and perhaps overpay three players?

After Jordan Kyrou and Robert Thomas, Faulk, Krug, and Parayko are the highest-paid players on the team.

Don't expect any significant moves

Armstrong is restricted from any potential trades. Trade clauses create difficulties, as Armstrong's top defenders have deals that prevent trades without their agreement.

The Blues have a generous amount of cap space this offseason, and this is perhaps the best option to acquire further defensive talent. According to some experts, this year's free-agent list is weak, which could signal teams might overpay for talent. Armstrong should proceed with caution here, seeking to avoid a similar occurrence with the contracts he already has for his top three defensemen.

Nevertheless, the defense needs to be addressed. Maybe Armstrong can pull off a surprise trade without jeopardizing his core unit of skilled players.