With the draft happening this Friday and Saturday in Dallas, it’s been rumored the Blues will be trading the first round pick(#29OA) that they acquired in the Paul Stastny deal with the Winnipeg Jets at the trade deadline.
The Blues obviously need help in their top 9 to truly contend, even with some of the kids potentially being ready for NHL duty in the fall. The main needs are a top 6 C, a middle 6 RHS RW, and potentially a new goaltender as well.
In the past week, potential Blues targets Alex Galchenyuk(Arizona) and Mike Hoffman(SJ/Florida) have already been dealt, so here’s a list of 5 players that either the Blues have already been linked to, or would make total sense for our roster.
This is my first choice. Earlier today, Elliotte Friedman reported that Panarin isn’t interested in signing an extension in Columbus, and that they’re testing the market for him. Several years ago, it came out that Tarasenko tried to get Army/Hitch to bring him over before he decided on Chicago. It’s time for Army to right his mistake, and bring Vlady’s best friend where he belongs. He scored 27 goals and 55 assists(82 pts) in 81 games for the Blue Jackets last season, and was clearly their best player. I believe he’d propel Tarasenko into the 45-50 goal range, and the Blues wouldn’t need a superstar center(Tavares) in between them. Kyrou+Fabbri+2018 1st+ is what I’d begin to offer Jarmo. Panarin has 1 year left on his deal, with a $6 million dollar cap hit.
With the Blues need at C and RW, Tyler Johnson would be a guy who doesn’t break the bank, is signed long term($5 mil per through ’23-’24), and wouldn’t take the Blues out of potential Tavares discussions. He has a pending no trade clause starting on July 1st, and with the Lightning’s need for cap space, a deal could definitely get worked out. He scored 21 goals and 29 assists in 81 games this year, and is seemingly being supplanted by Brayden Point. I’d offer Tage Thompson, one of Jordan Schmaltz or Jake Walman, and the WPG 1st to bring him to St. Louis.
This is a guy that Blues fans would absolutely love once he puts on The Note. He’s got a year left on his deal, is a great net-front presence, right-handed shot, has prior chemistry with Brayden Schenn, and brings a physical aspect that the loyal Blues fan loves. This past season, he played with a plethora of injuries, yet still put up 24 goals and 22 assists in 75 games for the Flyers. Personally, I think he’d be a guy we’d re-sign, and let him finish out his career as our 3RW behind Tarasenko and Kyrou. Asking price would likely be once again, the WPG 1st, and a prospect in the Thompson/Blais range.
The online rumors linking him to the Blues refuse to go away. He’s a legit number one center in this league, has age on his side(27 years old), and is a Selke candidate year in and year out. Due to these attributes, he’s probably going to cost a lot. Robby Fabbri, one of our top forward prospects, a defenseman, the WPG 1st, and maybe more will probably be going the other way. He’s signed to a cap hit of $7.5 million until ’22-’23, so it’s likely the defenseman going over would be a roster player. He’d be a great fit between Tarasenko and Steen, but the price may be too much for me.
This one is a personal favorite, with no rumors of being available to back it up. If Drew Doughty decides to not re-up in Los Angeles, I would imagine the Kings would look for a major re-tool. While he’s older than our core, he fits every need the Blues need. Speed, size, goal scoring, plays C, and is right handed. He’d be an absolutely perfect fit centering Tarasenko, as VT likes to carry the puck to create offense. While he was hurt in a weird accident last season, he still put up 13 goals and 9 assists(22 pts) in 27 games. Due to the injury, his asking price may drop. If LA does re-tool, I’d offer Thompson, Ivan Barbashev, and the WPG 1st.
There are other guys known to be available through trade, like a Max Pacioretty or Jeff Skinner, but left-handed LW shots don’t become a need unless we get rid of Sobotka, Berglund, and Fabbri. With all this being said, it should be a very exciting couple of weeks, so stay tuned for more updates.