Is Another Trade Coming?
We've had a couple days and one exciting game separating us from the shocking trade that sent Jay McClement and Erik Johnson to Colorado, and things are finally settling down. Chris Stewart scored two goals in his debut and Kevin Shattenkirk added an assist. In case anyone was unfamiliar with him, Stewart instantly made his presence known and reminded plenty of fans of a young Keith Tkachuk in front of the net. While the two newest members of the clubs enjoyed successful debuts, the real question is: Is another trade coming?
While I am not an insider nor do I pretend to have any sources close to the team, I believe I have fairly sharp hockey knowledge and can usually analyze situations on and off the ice pretty well. That being said, I think the Blues may have some wheeling and dealing left in them before the trade deadline passes.
I highly doubt we'll see another blockbuster of a trade like the Johnson one that broke late Friday, but I do think this organization will still make another minor deal or two. Of course, your definition of blockbuster might vary depending who your favorite skaters are, but needless to say, the Blues won't be dealing another first overall pick anytime soon.
So if I think the Blues will deal again, who could be moved? That question is tricky. Keep in mind these are just possibilities
based on the current situation surrounding the team.
A week or two ago I'd have said Ty Conklin. Moving him just makes sense. His contract ends at the end of the year and with Ben Bishop waiting in the wings (and Jake Allen behind him), it really wouldn't make much sense to sign him to a new deal. That being the case, you might as well flip him before the deadline and try to get some value in return rather than just letting him walk.
Jaroslav Halak then goes on the IR with a hand injury, Conklin comes in as number one and Bishop slides in as the new number two. The likelihood of Conklin being dealt likely hinges not only on what is being offered to the club, but what the severity is of Halak's injury. The Blues can't deal Conklin if Halak will remain out as they aren't in the position to start Bishop and have Allen serve as the backup. If Halak's injury truly is minor and he makes a return prior to the deadline, Bishop could definitely be the new backup - especially after his impressive display Saturday against Anaheim.
One area the Blues do have some depth in is defense. In the Erik Johnson deal, the Blues did receive a defenseman back, meaning they still have plenty of faces that can join the blueline. With skaters such as Ian Cole down in Peoria, it really wouldn't be surprising to see the Blues ship one of their d-men to a new club. Carlo may be seen as an injured skater which may keep him with the Blues past the deadline, but the point remains, the Blues do have some surplus blueliners and it might be wise to dish one.
Other Thoughts Regarding Trades
- Many fans seem to want the Blues to flip Brad Boyes. While it isn't impossible, it wouldn't be the easiest trade to pull off. For starters, Boyes does have $4 million coming his way in the 2011-12 season which certainly won't be a point any trade candidates would be happy with. Also, all the fans have seen Boyes turn from a scorer into more of a setup man and the rest of the league has too. He currently is being paid under the belief he could be a lethal sniper, and that's just proving more and more false in each game he skates in. A deal with Boyes isn't out of the question, but it would be very tough to pull off.
- Patrik Berglund looked to be another guy not living up to his potential in the season's early going. Boy has that changed. He's been on quite the run since January 13th, scoring 15 in 15 games. Berglund appears to have found his confidence and the return of TJ Oshie has clearly sparked his overall play. At this stage, I'm on the side hoping the Blues retain Berglund and see just what he can do down the road.
- Not even counting the team's 9-3 thrashing of the Ducks on Saturday, I was in favor of the Erik Johnson/Jay McClement deal that brought over Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk as soon as I heard it. I believed this would be a telling season in Erik Johnson's development and leading up to the trade it really had been. Johnson looked like a lost man nearly all season long and continued to make mistakes that a rookie would make - not a guy that's skated since 2007-08. The Blues have some nice depth at defense and in all likelihood, the emergence of Alex Pietrangelo and Nikita Nikitin allowed the Blues to trade for the offense they need.