3 pending free agents in the Western Conference the St. Louis Blues must stay away from

There are quite a few players in NHL free agency who will help the St. Louis Blues, but there is also a strong contingent of them to keep away from.
Nov 22, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko (55) skates the puck by
Nov 22, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko (55) skates the puck by / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
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Jonathan Marchessault, C/Vegas Golden Knights

Jonathan Marchessault is someone you can call the first face of the Vegas Golden Knights franchise, and he’s been there since the team started play. That said, the likeliest course of action for the Knights to take is to re-sign Marchessault, especially following the former journeyman’s 42-game season in his age-33 year. 

The keyword, however, is “age-33,” as the Blues are a team finally getting younger, dropping to 17th in the NHL this past season from 13th in 2022-23, per Elite Prospects. If in the event the Golden Knights don’t keep Marchessault around, it still would make little sense for a Blues team to take interest in him. 

Despite his age, Marchessault may demand a higher and longer salary, especially when you factor in this past season ended with his second-highest points total. Doug Armstrong has a plan, and that plan should be to keep getting younger, something Marchessault contradicts. 

This doesn’t mean Armstrong shouldn’t seek to sign a player who is 33 and older, as they could make a good short-term solution at the right price. For example, I listed Adam Henrique in a previous piece as one forward the Blues should pursue. Plus, I also mentioned Vladimir Tarasenko and David Perron in another piece.  

The difference between Tarasenko, Perron, and Henrique and Marchessault is that the former should come in at a much cheaper cost than the latter and for a shorter number of years. Armstrong needs to sign stopgaps, and Marchessault doesn’t look like he’s one of those players, judging from this season’s production.