St. Louis Blues: The big decision Doug Armstrong has to figure out right now

The offseason brings critical choices for St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong. One particularly interesting dilemma could significantly impact the Blues future, either positively or negatively.
St Louis Blues v Minnesota Wild
St Louis Blues v Minnesota Wild / David Berding/GettyImages

GM Doug Armstrong has never shied away from tough decisions. Ample examples exist, from firing head coaches, including Craig Berube, to allowing veterans to walk away via free agency.

This offseason is no different, except that no significant free agent is set to leave the St. Louis Blues.

There is, however, one critical decision Armstrong must address.

The St. Louis Blues need to either commit or seek to deal Jordan Kyrou

Jordan Kyrou and Robert Thomas are the team's highest-paid players. Kyrou led the St. Louis Blues in the goal category this year but also lost the support of many fans due to his rocky relationship with former coach Craig Berube.

Kyrou also has seen a decrease in statistics over the past three seasons.

What makes a decision crucial for Armstrong regarding Kyrou is that Kyrou has a no-trade clause entering his contract in 2025.

While his numbers have declined, Kyrou is an All-Star (2022) and can still score the puck.

Several teams could benefit from his play and help boost their rosters to serious contenders in their prospective divisions.

A few intriguing trade options with ample cap space include Utah, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Anaheim Ducks, and the Los Angeles Kings.

Utah is a brand-new scene in the NHL and a perfect spot for a player like Kyrou, who might desire a fresh start.

An ideal situation for Kyrou would be a playoff contender such as Los Angeles. Kyrou could immediately play and provide solid skills to an already impressive team.

What is the likelihood of Jordan Kyrou being traded?

Kyrou’s contract is significant, but not massive, compared to other players around the league.

Kyrou has been relatively quiet outside of his emotional interview following the firing of Craig Berube.

More telling, hockey pundits and commentators continue to speculate Armstrong might pull the trigger on a Kyrou trade before things grow worse.

Sometimes, a pairing doesn’t work out. The best approach is to have compassion for Kyrou, regardless of your opinions about him. The fanbase is nearly split down the middle in terms of keeping or trading him.

Playing in such an environment is challenging and almost becomes a mind game for any professional athlete.

Armstrong has some tough decisions to make. He expected Kyrou and Thomas to grow together and dominate the Central Division. However, the current play and negative responses Kyrou has received from Blues fans might force his hand to make a drastic change.

One thing is sure: It’s not fair to Kyrou to live in uncertainty regarding his future in St. Louis, nor is it appropriate for fans to be left speculating on who their team is built and centered upon.

If Armstrong is going to trade Kyrou, he needs to do it this offseason. Alternatively, if he wants to keep him, he must vocally support Kyrou and seek to make moves to build up Kyrou’s confidence, which he may already have done by naming Drew Bannister the head coach.