With the signing of Ryan Suter, the Blues face a crucial decision: which defenseman will be the odd man out?

Does the signing of Ryan Suter indicate further roster changes are imminent?
Edmonton Oilers v Dallas Stars - Game Five
Edmonton Oilers v Dallas Stars - Game Five / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages

On July 10th, Doug Armstrong signed Ryan Suter to a one-year deal with an AAV of $775k. While this contract is quite minimal, this combined with the Blues' prospect depth at the defenseman position, creates a logjam. This situation prevents younger players from having a chance to make the lineup this season and isn't good for their development in general. So, who should the Blues trade to create that space?

The Most Likely

The most likely and easiest candidate to trade is definitely Nick Leddy. At 33 years old, he is one of the oldest defensemen on the team and has only two years left on his contract. The main issue with him is his AAV, which is $4 million. This is quite high for a defenseman that I would classify as a third-pair max kind of guy. However, the Blues could potentially use their cap space to retain 50% of his salary, making the trade much easier. Even if they get nothing in return, the potential playing time that would open up for their younger players would make it a valuable trade.

The best option?

I know this trade would cause a lot of controversy in the Blues fandom, but it may make the most sense to trade Colton Parayko. Over the past few seasons, he hasn't been the same as he once was. Although I still believe he is better than what advanced stats indicate, he is probably the best candidate for a trade. His value is still high; after all, who wouldn't want a 6-foot-6 right-handed shot defenseman?

At this point in the Blues' reset, the potential value he could bring might be more impactful to their success than just his ice time. I still consider the likelihood of this trade happening to be low, as recent moves by the management don't suggest a team willing to drop too far in the standings. However, it's something they need to consider.

The popular one

We know he already nixed a trade out of St. Louis, and at this point, a lot of the fan base seems to have lost faith in him. However, I don't think it's time to trade Torey Krug. Yes, he makes too much for what he currently contributes, but I still believe in Krug and what he can bring to the team in the next few seasons. While the Blues have some up-and-coming defensive prospects, few of them offer what Krug does on the ice. They tend to be more stay-at-home, big defensemen, which is valuable, but I see Krug as someone who can complement them until the end of his contract or until they find another player who can fill that role.

To conclude, it's unclear at this point who will leave the team before the beginning of the season. However, with the recent moves they've made, they have certainly backed themselves into a corner, which will require them to make some moves in the near future.