The St. Louis Blues are one of the more intriguing teams to keep an eye on over the next few weeks.
Utterly disappointed with another playoff failure, change is in the offing within their core roster if there’s a deal that makes sense. Word is the Blues would like to move apples for apples in any deal, which is a very difficult thing to do in the cap system, particularly in a summer when so many teams are looking to shed salary, not add any.
But if there’s a deal out there that makes sense, word from rival executives is that the Blues are more open-minded than ever to move one of their long-standing core guys, whether that’s David Backes, T.J. Oshie, Patrik Berglund or other veterans.
It’s a delicate proposition in the sense that the Blues, by bringing back head coach Ken Hitchcock for one more season, are signaling that they’re taking another run at it and why oddsmakers have listed them as a top-five contender for next season. But in in a perfect world, the Blues would like to return with a new face or two among their core.
Backes enters the final season of his deal, which is why you hear his name out there. It’s the perfect time to move him for value. But they could easily keep him too, given how difficult he would be to replace. Again, depends on what the Blues are being offered.
What the Blues won’t do, in my opinion, is force a trade just for the sake of appeasing their fans who want change because of the disappointing playoffs. GM Doug Armstrong is a shrewd hockey man. I think he’s seen teams in this position -- so desperate to get over the hump -- make their worst trades.
So yes, the Blues are open for business, but it has to be logical, it has to make them better. Otherwise, they might just stand pat.