The St. Louis Blues Are Looking To Shake Up Their Team
Backes, who scored fours goals against the Arizona Coyotes in a 17 minute span in a game (well… it wasn’t really a game, was it?) last January is in the last year of his contract and Oshie will be ending his tenure the following season.
BUT, would the Blues really trade two of their best players because of their playoff woes? They are considering it per a story done by Pierre LeBrun – ESPN/TSN:
“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.”
The even better question is — do the Arizona Coyotes have anything the Blues would be interested in to actually make a trade? Sure, the Coyotes have eight draft choices in the NHL Entry Draft next week, but it would take more than that to pry a Backes or Oshie from the St. Louis hockey club.
The Blues already have these draft picks:
Round 2 – No. 56
Round 4 – No. 94 (from Edmonton)
Round 4 – No. 116
Round 5 – No. 127 (from New Jersey)
Round 5 – No. 146
Round 6 – No. 176
Granted none are really lower, but the Arizona Coyotes have:
Round 1 – No. 3, No. 30
Round 2 – No 32, No. 60
Round 3 – No. 63, No. 81
Round 5 – No. 123
Round 7 – No. 183
Besides someone like Lauri Korpikoski, ) who’s a defensive specialist) or any of many young prospects in the Arizona Coyotes organization, who would the Blues want in return? The Yotes could offer up someone like Brendan Perlini, or Christian Dvorak, but not sure the Blues would bite. They will want a proven player like maybe a Sam Gagner, or Mikkel Boedker (who still will be a free agent in ten days unless he gets a new contract done) AND a prospect or two to make it worthy of their consideration.
Then… there’s the possibility that someone like Shane Doan may finally say “Trade me, I’m so done here.” A trade of team captains? Wouldn’t that be special. Stranger things have happened.
The two teams are at different crossroads, really. The St. Louis Blues have been terribly disappointed about their lack of playoff success after playing exceptional hockey during the regular season. They gave their head coach Ken Hitchcock another one year contract to see if he can put together a team who moves on in the post-season better than recently.
Conversely, the Arizona Coyotes are not even sure where they are going to play with all the drama of a reality show knocking their existence into the end boards with a high hit. They do have some young talent expected to be given an opportunity to show their goods this upcoming season, and frankly they have a ways to go to even be on the same planet as the Blues, competitively.
Would the Arizona Coyotes love to have either an Oshie or Backes in sedona red (or whatever the new uniforms will look like) ? You bet. But just ask GM Don Maloney how complicated trades can be. Is he ready to improve his team to make them more successful? You bet.
Frankly, I think this is just the Blues trying to shake up their team, and give them a reality check much like when GM Don Maloney told the press last season that everyone except Shane Doan was available — only to backtrack and say he wouldn’t trade a Oliver Ekman-Larsson after all. One of those, “gee… did I really say that” moments.
Backes will more than likely stick around, I mean he is their captain for pete’s sake. Oshie has been rumored to be moved for a while. It could happen, and if the Blues can improve their chances to take this team to the next level, you are guaranteed they will seek to do exactly that.
On the Arizona Coyotes end of the ice, they’re still trying to figure out how to not be the laughing stock of the NHL, and actually compete to a respectable level again. Both teams have their work cut for them, but the Blues shouldn’t be singing the blues, they’re a pretty darn good hockey team.
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