Why the Panthers' Sam Reinhardt Could Be a Perfect Fit For the Blues

With the 2024 trade deadline closing this past weekend, the Blues' top priority was bolstering their defensive core to balance out their offensive setup. One player in particular may be above such needs.

Washington Capitals v Florida Panthers
Washington Capitals v Florida Panthers / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

The 2024 NHL trade deadline has passed, and the St. Louis Blues were one of the quieter teams on deadline day, not making any big splashes in the talent pool. Their top priority before March 8 was undoubtedly securing a couple to a few defensemen, to help balance out a decently powered offense.

Despite the focus on defense, one player in particular could've fixed the Blues in a heartbeat and still could in the offseason. Sam Reinhart, the 28-year-old native of West Vancouver, has something a lot of players don't: high-scoring prowess.

One look at his numbers from just this year, and the past couple prior, just for kicks and you can tell this is a star player that doesn't get enough attention. 45 goals with 31 assists for 76 points is right up there with the likes of McDavid, Matthews, and other guys who can notch 50-goal seasons virtually in their sleep.

And one more thing, Reinhart kept up the high numbers at the start of his NHL career, where he spent 7 seasons in Buffalo. That's something only the true best of the best generally do. 10-11 years experience and scores relentlessly with multiple years of maintained high marks?

If you're a team like the Blues trying to fight your way back to a playoff berth, these are the guys you go after in free agency or the trade market. Oh, forgot to mention - Reinhart is 2ND in the ENTIRE NHL in goals this season. Insane.

Plus, in a 10-year NHL career thus far with playing the vast majority of games each season? That's consistency at its finest.

With all that in mind, St. Louis will have their work cut out for them if they wanna snag the former Sabre and current Panther. It's purely because of the fact that Reinhart is, as of right now, one of the NHL's top unrestricted free agents heading into next season as this one nears roughly a month to go in regular season play. Reinhart originally signed in the 2020/21 offseason with Florida after the aforementioned 7 seasons in upstate New York, currently under a 3-year, $19.5 million contract with the Cats, giving him a cap hit of $6.5 million.

Reinhart doesn't just dish it out in regular goals either. He also leads the league in power play goals, tallies on the man advantage, and with 23 this season. That puts him above than the likes of Connor McDavid, the guy who you'd think would lead in that stat. Clearly, with all these insane numbers in a relatively young NHL career, Reinhart is destined for big things, and it could lead him one day to suiting up in a Blues sweater.