From what I have heard from Armstrong is he is not wanting to trade the “Big Four”. If you are not aware of who those four are, they consist of Thomas, Kyrou, Thompson, and Kostin. It sounds like those four are untouchable, but it also sounds like that’s the only thing that other teams want from us if we’re wanting a top-six forward. It’s no secret the Blues need offense and preferably a top-six guy, but is it worth it to trade one of the “Big Four” to get a quick fix? In my own opinion, it’s not. I know those four are not guaranteed to be great NHL players or to be NHL players at all, but when you are getting as many calls as Armstrong is getting for those players, you know they’re good.
A lot of scouts are asking about Thomas and wondering how he is not in the NHL already. Scouts have been raving about his play and his very high hockey IQ. He’s only 18. Kyrou’s skating ability is outstanding and it seems that he has already mastered that aspect of his game. I’ve heard some comparisons to Phil Kessel and if Kyrou is anything like him, you can’t lose him. Thompson is already showing that he is an NHL player and once he fills out his frame, he is gonna be a scoring threat. Kostin has a high ceiling and a determination to do what it takes to make it to the NHL. He has high-end skill with a big frame and a great hard shot.
To save losing those players, Armstrong should try and go for cheaper options like Vanek and Maroon. Vanek is 33 years old, he’s 6’2″ 214 lbs. He’s getting older but he’s still showing he can produce. Two seasons ago he put up 41 points in 74 games, 18 G and 23 assists. Last season he played 48 games for Detroit and scored 15 G and 23 A. He was then traded at the deadline to the Panthers and gathered 10 points in 20 games, 2 G and 8 A. This year he is with Vancouver and has 32 points in 45 games, 13 G and 19 A. 32 points is solid considering he’s with one of the worst offenses in the league in Vancouver. He’s on pace for around 56 points this season. He may not be the flashiest pickup but he’d be a cheaper one at a cap hit of $2 million that ends after this year. He’s also right-handed, which the Blues need right now.
Maroon would be a great pickup because the Blues need tougher players that go to the net and go to the dirty areas. Maroon has solid hands and a good shot. He’s a big body at 6’3″ 230 lbs. He’d be a much needed pickup for the Blues toughness. With a cap hit of $1.5 million he’s a cheaper option along with Vanek. Depending on what the Blues give up, they would have a chance of re-signing at least one of these two if they wanted.
It shouldn’t take too much to get these players as Vanek was traded last year at the deadline for a conditional third-round pick. The Blues can afford to lose a third or a fourth round pick so I don’t think Vanek’s price would be an issue, it’s just if Armstrong wants him. For Maroon, I think a Gunnarsson for Maroon swap would be enough. If we had to add just a little bit more I would do it. I think Gunnarsson for Maroon is a even player for player trade. I don’t think anyone would necessarily win the trade because it would help out both teams.
If the Blues want to contend this year and go somewhere in the playoffs, they have to address the scoring issue and if you are wanting a cheap fix then those two are great options. They would add good depth scoring and toughness to this team. I want to see this team contend in the playoffs this year and if they are going to do that without getting rid of a big prospect, then this is the best option.