Could the Blues move Chris Stewart?

Nothing much went down on the trade deadline before the roster freeze.

Part of it was economics, since the players are due a paycheck during the Olympic break. Part of it was concern about injuries that could occur during the competition in Sochi.

Then there was the usual issue of teams lacking flexibility under the salary cap. So the speculation drags on.

Blues winger Chris Stewart may hear a trade rumor or two during his Olympic break.

Earlier reports had the New York Rangers checking out the power forward. The Ottawa Sun reports that the Senators have inquired as well.

Stewart offers size, toughness and the ability to score in streaks. Unfortunately for the Blues, he went into the break on a negative streak: 13 games without a goal.

He is under contract for another season at $4.2 million. That has some appeal to teams not interested in renting pending free agents such as Thomas Vanek, Matt Moulson and Mike Cammalleri.

28 Responses to Could the Blues move Chris Stewart?

  1. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    That’s funny, I was just discussing a deal for Stewart the other day with a friend as I though he may be available with St. Louis overall depth and they are looking for a goalie.

    I had suggested Lupul, Reimer for Stewart, Elliot & 2014 2nd (from Edmonton). Not that I want to move Lupul or Reimer, but Stewart would add more of what we need up-front and Elliot is an excellent back-up to get in return. The second rounder should be top a 35 pick.

    Being able to do

    JVR Bozak Kessel (speed and skill line)
    Clarkson Kadri Stewart (skill and toughness that can score)
    Raymond Bolland Kulimen (all around solid)
    Bodie McClement Fraser/? (Grinder line)

    I like that versatility of the top 9 there.

    We would be 1 top 4 RHD away from being a possible contender.

    We could still move Gunnar, Gardiner, etc if needed to try and land a top 4 guy.

    What about Gunnar and Gardiner for Bieksa or Coburn + mid pick/prospect? A guy like Mallet or McGinn?

    • reinjosh says:

      Also Gunnar isn’t going to be moved. He’s been quite phenomenal since 2014 started. There’s very little reason to trade someone as solid as he’s been.

    • Steven_Leafs0 says:

      I wouldn’t do that trade, arguably a downgrade in both positions to get a 35th overall pick. It isn’t worth it. I would much rather move Kulemin, Reimer, Orr/McLaren, 2014 3rd for Stewart, Elliot (although this is likely only possible if they ended up getting Miller).

      Lupul provides a lot of leadership and at a solid contract. Although even with Stewart’s value lower than it used to be I doubt that is enough to get it done.

  2. doorman says:

    I would love Stewart and would not normally want to think of trading Lupul, but his ability to stay healthy is a concern. The thing I like about guys like Stewart, Gleason and to a lesser extent Clarkson are these are all guys who keep guys like Lucic in check. In the playoffs having your own versions of tough as nails guy who can play is important.

    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

      Exactly. You have to be able to wear the other team down and intimidate without it being just fighting. Having a Clarkson, Stewart in our top 6 would be huge. It would give great balance. Gleason has made us tougher to play against in our own end, which has been a huge problem prior to the trade.IMO I like the 7D lately, I have been hoping Carlyle would try that for a while now.
      Like I said, add a guy like Stewart and I believe we are a tough to play against top 4 D away from being a contender.

      • mapleleafsfan says:

        Honestly guys, Stewart is not kind of player I think we want. Physically he fits the mould, but mentally, the guy has 0 care in the world. Why do you think a team like St Louis that wins on a hard-working/grinding style would want to move a big power forward? He fits their play-style exactly, but his name constantly pops up in trade rumors because he’s a bum. You don’t trade heart and soul guys like Lupul for guys who get by on skill alone like Stewart. I pass all day, no interest.

        Not against getting tougher, but big tough Stewart hits less than Lupul and takes bad penalties. Sure, he fights, but I’d rather have my top 6 playing than watching next to Colton.

        • doorman says:

          I honestly haven’t seen him enough to say he has no heart, but wouldn’t argue with someone who has. I always assumed his name was up in a combo of salary with having to give to get type deal.

          • realistic_leafs_fan says:

            Not sure about the heart thing, but can’t say for sure. Who can really. I mean 20+ goal seasons on average while playing a tough style is hardly a bum with no heart though.imo
            I don’t put a lot of stock on what is said, more what I see. He is also a Toronto boy which may bring out the best in him.
            I believe the trade rumours go with the fact the Blues have enough of his style as you said MLF. If desire is an issue, it would for sure be the deciding factor, but I think it has more to do with having Oshie and Tarasenko on the right side and Steen and Schwartz on the left already.
            Losing Lupul would hurt, but he is often injured and is a guy who also has been rumoured to have a poor attitude as well if that has any stock. Especially rumoured bad with Carlyle. Lupul has been traded 4 times never mind rumoured to be traded and before he got here, that was the knock on Lupul…poor attitude.
            I like Lupul, but I like what Stewart may potentially bring more. It would be risky for sure, but may pay back huge dividends.imo

            • reinjosh says:

              St Louis fans detest his lack of effort. It’s his biggest weakness. He’d be a star if he put effort into things. He’s basically the RW slimmer version of Penner. He’s got no effort to his game. Carlyle would rip him to shreds.

              Stewart is a guy that you learn to hate. He’s got so much working for him, but he himself doesn’t work for it.

              Maybe the Toronto thing would spur him on, and his being less of an injury prone player would be nice.

              Don’t get me wrong, I love Stewart. I agree that the potential reward is worth the risk. But not through trading Lupul.

              Lupul brings veteran leadership that no one outside of Bolland has. He’s also one of the few players we have that can take over a game. Losing him would be devestating.

              And I’ve never heard about him having a poor attitude, so not sure why you’re saying that. Pretty bullshit if you’re asking me. There’s a difference between Lupul saying Carlyle wouldn’t play him at a position and an attitude issue. And Carlyle admitted he was wrong. And that’s a terrible argument to use since Stewart actually has issues of that.

              Stewart acquisition? Yes, but not at the expense of Lupul.

              • reinjosh says:

                I don’t think Stewart’s value is as high as Lupul’s anyways, and I don’t think St Louis wants Lupul’s cap hit. Plus he doesn’t fit their needs. They really need a goalie and that’s pretty much it.

              • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                It has been said about Lupul Josh. Why do you think he was traded 4 times in like 6 years…because everyone wanted him? It was because the other teams felt they could do without him. I mean we got Gardiner partly for taking Lupul.
                Lupul came here and realized he had something to prove and that this may be his last chance to prove he is a top 6 guy and he better smarten up. He did, and good for him. He was also considered an injury risk player.
                I honestly don’t care what St.Louis fans say about Stewart or Berglund etc. Many Leaf fans hate Phaneuf, Kadri, Clarkson etc…does that mean it’s true?
                My point was, as I stated…maybe Stewart has an attitude problem, I don’t know. If so, it would be the deciding factor. But I am not going to take STL fans word for it.
                According to you, they hate Berglund and Stewart. One of the best teams in the League complaining about their players. All it shows me is no matter how good a team is…fans will still find players to bitch about.
                Calgary fans about Phaneuf…good thing Leafs didn’t listen.
                Bruins fans about Kessel…good thing Leafs didn’t listen.
                Philly fans about JVR…good thing Leafs didn’t listen.
                Bolland, Raymond, Clarkson all had knocks on them by former team fans.
                Maybe you are right about Stewart, which I am open to.
                Let me ask you this though…What would the Leafs look like if we never made a trade for players other teams fans didn’t necessarily like or complained about?

          • mapleleafsfan says:

            Don’t get me wrong, I don’t watch the Blues 82 games a year, but from what I’ve seen I’m not interested. Also, head on over to St Louis’ board on hfboards. They have a whole player discussion thread on him, and almost nothing good to say (it is hfboards, so take it for what it’s worth, but they at least watch him a lot).

            • doorman says:

              I used to go to HFboards when this site had some problems posting or I was on suspension, lol. Some decent but some horrible posters. But at least there are a lot of discussion hungry fans.

              • mapleleafsfan says:

                I agree, the general forums are brutal, but generally on individual team boards it’s a bit objective. It’s more like here. You’ll get people who like/dislike certain players, but when discussing their own team you know they’ve seen them a lot and have more insight. Almost every post about Stewart is “Lazy, want him gone, has this guy been traded yet?” etc.

                • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                  You may be right MLF. I don’t read HF boards for a reason.
                  I look at this way. I have heard so much BS written on here about what other teams fans say, I put little stock in it.
                  For instance apparently fans have wrote,
                  Bolland(CHI) was finished, Berglund sucks as well(STL), Turris was a bust(PHX), Lupul attitude(ANA), JVR lazy (PHI) etc etc.
                  I am not expecting a game changer in Stewart. I would expect 20-30g a season from Stewart and he play an in your face game, go to the net hard and hit hard. I would be happy with that. Add that with Clarkson and I think we are a better team. But that’s what I think we need, some disagree which is fine.

                  • mapleleafsfan says:

                    That’s fair, and a good point. Some times a change of scenery does a lot for a player. Who would say JVR is lazy these days eh.

                  • reinjosh says:

                    Not sure where you heard some of those things.

                    Never heard that about Lupul or JVR. Bolland thing was more that he struggled last season (which was true). Turris I’ll give you but until last season it sort of looked like it was true.

                    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                      That’s what guys on here claimed that their current teams fans have said about them and why we shouldn’t want them.

                • leafs_wallace93 says:

                  How every thread ends of hfboards.

                  ‘Dream on Leaf fans, any discussion for player x starts with Rielly’

            • reinjosh says:

              Team boards on HfBoards are actually quite good usually. And it’s pretty obvious which people don’t know there stuff on it.

  3. reinjosh says:

    Honestly, I don’t expect the Leafs will do anything really. Major changes are done. People probably don’t want to hear it but really, Nonis isn’t likely going to make many big changes.

    The first line is set. Bozak is playing well and he fits on that line perfectly. He’s not the center we want but he’s the one that line needs and the one we’re going to get. It’s a cost controlled, effective line. Moving on.

    2nd line is rolling now. Lupul’s moved back to the left side, his more successful side and he’s paying about what can be expected. He’s on pace for 27 goals, 27 assists, which is on pace for a 2nd line winger at his cap hit. He’s perfectly comparable to guys like Ryan, Kesler, Carter, Evander Kane, Ryan O’Reilly. All are with a quarter million of Lupul’s cap hit, all are scoring between 25 and 30 goals, and between 50 and 60 points. Kadri is heating up and learning how to be consistent. Only issue is a RW. Does Clarkson fit here or does he fit on the third line better?

    We have our future goalie in Bernier. We have two pairings on defense that are rolling in Gunnar-Phaneuf, and Gleason-Rielly. Gunnar is engaging more offensively and he’s been phenomenal since Jan 1st. He’s a plus 7 in that the 18 games since then.

    Our issues are figuring out what to do with Franson, Gardiner, Bolland, Kulemin and the third line. We’re not going to acquire a RH’d dman to play with Franson on the bottom pairing, we won’t be acquiring one to play with Phaneuf since he plays the right side, and it’s unlikely that the team wants to split up Gleason/Rielly considering the progress both has made. So it’s probably status quo through the playoffs on defense when they make a decision on Gards/Franson.

    Third line could see Bolland moved if he’s too expensive. Kulemin trial at center, and Holland acquisition could make it a smaller loss. Plus it gives us freedom to give Holland a spot. Raymond slots in in the final spot.

    I don’t expect much to happen at the deadline. Nonis is going to do what he did last time, status quo, let the team grow in the playoffs from experience. It’s still largely a young team. Kadri is only playing his first full season, Rielly is playing his first pro season, JVR/Clarkson/Bolland/Holland/Gleason/Bernier are all getting exposed to a new team atmosphere still (JVR being the oldest of the newbies at just over 100 games experience with them).

    I’d bet heavily that Nonis wants to see what this team does in the playoffs before making any major decisions (if he makes any at all). Clarkson was a pure playoff acquisition, Franson/Gardiner were huge last year and maybe they’re more playoff guys than regular season guys. Rielly, Holland, Bernier all haven’t played in the playoffs before and will be exposed to it for the first time, and most of this team is still pretty unexposed to the NHL playoffs. Kadri, Gunnarsson, Gardiner, Bozak, Rielly, Holland, Kulemin, Bernier, Reimer, and even Gleason all have either only one year of playoff experience or none at all.

    I expect that this year will be a year of maturing in the playoffs and that’s about it.

    • doorman says:

      I think your thoughts are bang on josh. It is however still always fun to throw around proposals and play GM. Bolland is our deadline piece so to speak, and if anything I think Nonis looks to move out and get a return on players he won’t resign.

      Funny I remember all the bitching that was being done when we acquired Bernier(which I was all for), the difference a season makes.

      • reinjosh says:

        I agree on Bolland. I think he’s probably the one piece that will move if Nonis makes a move. If he won’t resign I think Nonis will just move him, being comfortable with what we’ve been playing with for over two months now.

Leave a Reply