Category Archives: St. Louis Blues
The price to trade for pending free agent defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk is too high. The price to sign him long term is even more expensive … Have to wonder a little about Shattenkirk when he had a chance to play for a contending roster in Tampa Bay for $6 million a year over seven years and he turned it down. Never mind where the Lightning are now: A defence with Viktor Hedman, Anton Stralman and Shattenkirk would be Blackhawks-like … Asked a Leafs front office man what to expect from Toronto on trade deadline day: “A lot of phone calls,” he said, “probably no trades.”
Shattenkirk is in the final season of a four-year, $17 million deal and is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. If he were to agree to an extension with the team that acquires him, it could help the Blues garner more value in a trade.
“I believe what Jim Rutherford, the general manager of the Penguins, though is hoping for is that the bubble teams in terms of the playoffs start to separate a little bit and maybe there’s a hint of desperation.
“I look at a team like St. Louis, as an example. It appears they’ve made their bed with Jake Allen, but if the St. Louis Blues believe they’re on the cusp or right there among the contenders and goaltending might be somewhat iffy or in question – look, Marc-Andre Fleury is a goaltender who has proven that he can take that team to another level.”
Allen’s four-year, $17.4 million contract extension with the Blues kicks in next season.
Fleury will still have another two years left on his contract once this season ends. His cap hit is $5.75 million.
Dealing for true No. 1 centers is difficult in today’s NHL, and the elite guys almost never reach free agency.
Coach Ken Hitchcock worked around this issue the previous few seasons by deftly mixing and matching his versatile forwards. Then captain David Backes left via free agency after last season, Vladimir Sobotka remained exiled to Siberia, Lehtera continued his offensive fade and the problem got worse.
OK, I’m starting to feel sorry for Nail Yakupov, as sorry as you can be for somebody getting paid $2.5 million not to play in St. Louis. He’s been a healthy scratch 12 times, and when he does dress, he’s averaging 10 minutes a game. He’ll be available to Vegas in the expansion draft, for sure. Would they take him? If not, will anybody else sign him to a bargain-basement, one-year $600,000 contract next season or will he be in the KHL?
Army on Hitch: "The guy has the best winning percentage in hockey over the last six years. If he's in danger, then everybody's in danger."
— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) November 20, 2016
— Michael Augello (@MikeInBuffalo) February 22, 2016
The contract that was supposed to last forever is set to expire July 1, when Backes will become an unrestricted free agent. Talks between the Blues and their captain have been infrequent to date, and though he holds a full no-trade clause, there’s no certainty which way the situation will unfold with just 37 days left before NHL’s trade deadline Feb. 29.
The Blues are fourth in the standings, but they may be leading in trade rumors. The most recent one centers on speedy Tampa Bay Lightning winger Jonathan Drouin, who has demanded a trade and was recently suspended for not showing up to an American Hockey League game.
It appears the Jonathan Drouin trade talks are heating up. TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie provides an update on The Morning Show on TSN Radio 690 in Montreal.
St. Louis Blues defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk could be on the block, while the Anaheim Ducks are a team to watch in the Jonathan Drouin sweepstakes, TSN Senior Hockey Reporter Frank Seravalli writes.
Source tells me a deal involving Robby Fabbri for Jonathan Drouin is a serious possibility. https://t.co/VVxU6mNzDC
— AJ Jakubec (@AJonSports) January 8, 2016
Blues GM Doug Armstrong would prefer to move Carl Gunnarsson, a No. 4-5 defenceman and pending UFA, but that would only bring back a Cam Atkinson-type player, should he deal with the Jackets. If St. Louis wants a Top 6 forward in return, they may dangle Shattenkirk, who has one year left on his deal beyond 2015-16.