“Buy or sell” is back for a second season. In case you’re new, I’ll choose trendy topics around the Blues organization and break them down and give my final word wether I’ll “buy or sell” that specific topic. Anything from prospect scoring streaks, trade rumors, penalty kill success, hot and cold steaks, etc will all be disscussed in this series throughout the season. Followers and readers can feel free to tweet me specific topics you’d like to see me breakdown and “buy or sell”, and tell me their thoughts on any of the articles in this series, @Palazzola_RTN. This will be a weekly uploaded series.
1) The Blues will finish the season with a top 10 power play percentage in the NHL (via @MatthewTreadwa4)
Last season, the Blues finished the year 8th in the NHL in power play percentage at 21.3%. With the acquisition of Brayden Schenn, it’s tough not to say that the Blues power play should improve. Schenn, Tarasenko, Stastny, and Schwartz are all consistent power play producers, but the player that intrigues me most this year is Colton Parayko. Starting in the summer at the World Championships, Parayko showed he can dominate on the power play. Already with one power play goal on the year, I’m expecting big things from not only Parayko, but the Blues power play in general.
My take: Buy, Blues finish the season with a top 10 power play.
2) Vladimir Sobotka will remain in a top 6 role for the entire season (via @RealTyBaker)
So far, Vladimir Sobotka has proved to us that he is a different player in his second stint with the Blues. Since his return to the NHL, Sobotka has recorded 3 goals, 6 assists, 9 points, 6 blocked shots, 26 hits, and is a +5 in 13 regular and postseason games. While those stats back up Sobotka as a true top 6 forward, it is still a small sample size. I do believe his skill has improved, and he is still a very reliable player in his own end. He can kill penalties and move up and down the lineup, but I don’t think he is a prototypical “top 6 guy”. Could he play alongside Stastny and Tarasenko on the top line all season, even without being that so called “prototypical top 6 forward”? Yes. For example, look in Edmonton. Pat Maroon is on the top line with McDavid and Draisaitl. While he is producing and has chemistry with the two players, he could arguably be dismissed as a top 6 forward as well.
My take: Sell, Sobotka will not remain in the top 6 for the entire season.
3.) Would Kyle Turris, who has recently been involved in trade rumors, currently be a fit for the Blues? (via @timgman0711)
Personally, I am a fan of Kyle Turris. He’s a true top 6 center,even though some may disagree with that statement. He’s a 6’1 190 pound, 28 year old center that has a $3.5 million cap hit. Last season he produced 27 goals, 28 assists, and 55 points in 78 games played. He is a three time 20 goal scorer that would add some speed down the middle. While he could be interesting on this current Blues roster, I don’t think the Blues have what it takes to give Ottawa what they’re looking for; reportedly “NHL caliber players” aka a hockey trade. Maybe the Sens slip up a bit this year and things could look more realistic come deadline time, but as of right now, things just wouldn’t add up.
My take: Sell, Kyle Turris wouldn’t currently be a fit in St. Louis.
4.) Will Tage Thompson remain with the Blues for the entire season?
The rookie certainly doesn’t look lost so far at the NHL level. While it was just one game, we saw some flashes of what Tage could potentially bring to the table this year. He’s a big body with great hands and vision of the ice. He does the little things right, and if he’s going to stay in the NHL, he must continue to do that. I also like what he could potentially add to the power play. With the injuries that the Blues are currently facing, the odds that Thompson remains with the Blues has increased. I personally expect 15-20 goals this season, but if he can do even more, things could get real interesting for the Notes offense.
My take: Buy, Tage Thompson remains with the Blues for the entire season.