Around the League with Ex-Blues

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T.J. Oshie, perhaps the most-missed of all ex-Blues, has 14 points this season for the Capitals.

The St. Louis Blues certainly have their hands full in trying to bring consistency to their play, put wins (and points) together, and settle down the drama surrounding the team and the coach this season. I wanted to take a pause with that and see how some ex-Blues are doing so far this year.

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QUICK HIT: Great return in Shatty Trade

It’s getting late Monday evening, and finally, the Shattenkirk trade appears to be happening. It’s being reported that the Washington Capitals are acquiring Kevin Shattenkirk from the Blues for a 201 7 1st-round pick, a conditional 2018 2nd-round pick, and forward prospect Zach Sanford.

This would be a terrific package for the Blues. Long thought to be seeking a first-rounder, plus a prospect, Shattenkirk’s value has held up as other players have been dealt today and in the previous couple of days.

Sanford is a key part of this deal. He’s a tall centerman at 6’4, and was a 2nd-round pick in 2013. He’s played a couple dozen games for the Capitals this year, scoring 2 goals. Over the past 2 seasons at Boston College, he scored 63 points in 79 games. He will likely see playing time with the Blues down the stretch, as Fabbri’s injury has created space. According to Hockey’s Future, he could project as a top 6 forward.

I’m thrilled that the Blues were indeed able to get a 1st-round pick back. While I’m disappointed the Blues didn’t get a legit scoring center, this deal is a rental package, instead of the “sign and trade” the team tried to pull off with a different Eastern team a few weeks ago.

Thanks for reading.

*Capitals logo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

 

What’s the Shatty Deal?

The trade deadline is March 1st. Just 7 days away. What will the Blues look like on March 2nd? I personally think the team will be exactly the same. Here’s why: General Manager Doug Armstrong will consider the Blues to be in a strong playoff position, and the services of trade candidates Kevin Shattenkirk and Patrik Berglund will be needed to help the team in the postseason. So he’ll stand pat, not in a position to sell or buy.

And that’s a shame. Armstrong has a unique opportunity this year. Kevin Shattenkirk is THE top prize of the deadline. He’s an elite offensive defenseman, with 11 goals and 42 points in 60 games played. He’s a power play quarterback, and a leader. Any playoff team would love to have him.

But not just any team will get him. Reports before the season have said he’s willing to sign a contract with only an Eastern Conference team. He’s from there – born in New York and playing college hockey for Boston University. So that limits the number of teams, realistically, with which Armstrong can make a deal. It’s unlikely a team will trade for him as just a rental for the stretch run and playoffs, without any real hope of signing him to an extension.

So let’s look at a couple f possible landing places. First, the New York Rangers. Their top scoring D-man is Ryan McDonagh (34 points, only 3 goals). They have forward depth from which to trade. The Blues have been reported to have interest in power forward Rick Nash. I personally think Nash would look good on a line with Berglund and Perron. Shattenkirk is no doubt appealing to the rangers. Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is passing his prime. Their Cup window may be closing.

Another possible destination is the Boston Bruins. Shattenkirk would instantly be their top offensive defenseman, and he would bolster a power play that trails Montreal and Toronto, their Atlantic rivals, in success percentage. He’d be reunited with former teammate David Backes, who signed with the Bruins as a free agent this past summer. They could offer C David Krejci, who would slot in behind Paul Stastny in the Blues’ top 6 forwards.

It was reported by Bruce Garrioch that the price for Shattenkirk is a high prospect, first-round draft pick, and an NHL piece. That’s steep, but fitting for this deadline’s prize. If Doug Armstrong can’t get close to this package, he should hold pat. And when I say close, I mean a high pick and a ranked prospect, if not also a roster player.

Such a package would bolster the Blues’ prospect pipeline, which is largely devoid of high-end talent. This is partially due to drafting low due to being a playoff team the past few years.

Armstrong should not forego this opportunity to help the Blues for the future. So we’ll see. One week to go.

Thanks for reading.

*Image courtesy of Sarah Connors – Flickr.