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St. Louis may have to make a trade or two

Jul 8, 2013, 12:55 PM EDT

Alex Pietrangelo Getty Images

Shortly after Tom Stillman took over as owner of the St. Louis Blues last May, he said he didn’t envision the club being a cap team anytime soon.

Well, that was then. One new CBA later and the Blues are flirting with the $64.3-million ceiling.

On Saturday, St. Louis inked play-making center Derek Roy to a one-year, $4 million deal. According to CapGeek, the Blues now have a cap payroll of $57.9 million…and they still have to sign restricted free agents Alex Pietrangelo, the team’s best defenseman, winger Chris Stewart, its leading scorer from last year, and Jake Allen, the promising young goalie.

“I think we’re going to be able to get everyone under the umbrella,” general manager Doug Armstrong said, per the Post-Dispatch, “and if need be, we have very valuable pieces — if we have to move players, that’s not going to be an issue finding a home for them.”

Stewart is one name that’s been mentioned in trade speculation, and based on what power forwards got on Friday in free agency, the big 25-year-old could garner a pretty good return.

Jaroslav Halak is another trade candidate, though the market for goalies may be a bit dry now.

One more name: winger David Perron, who was reportedly dangled at the draft. The 25-year-old has three years remaining on his deal, with a cap hit of $3.8 million.

  1. illadelphiasphinest - Jul 8, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    Paul Holmgren on line one calling in regards to Mr. Pietrangelo.
    Do we see a trade, or an offer sheet?
    Or does Homer totally ignore his D was terrible and goes and signs another forward.
    Im guessing he ignores his need for a Dman.

    • narfmoo12 - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:32 PM

      It’s funny that people whine when Homer is quick to pull the trigger and then whine when he is patient. Fact is, LeCavalier and Hall winning 55-60% of faceoffs, Streit’s puck moving ability, an offseason of getting healthy (Grossmann, Coburn, Meszaros) helps the D. Another year from Schenn, Gustafsson, Bourdon, Manning, and Lauridsen all make the D better. So with Timonen/Schenn, Coburn/Grossmann, Meszaros/Streit, with Gustafsson, Bourdon and Lauridsen ready to step in after a trade or injury, the Flyers D is pretty solid.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:20 PM

        Very true. I don’t think people understand how terrible the Flyers were in the faceoff circle last season. And, subsequently, how much that impacts both goals against and goals for. Winning a defensive zone draw can be the difference in a game. Plus, Mason’s ability to play the puck takes a lot of pressure off the defense. That was very visible in his 6 starts last season. It’s safe to say Bryz helped his defense about as much as they helped him.

        Besides, Pietrangelo in orange and black is nothing more than a pipedream. The cost to trade for him would probably be more than for Weber. And we have no cap space to extend an offer sheet. But still, the moves Holmgren made have improved this team a lot, like you said.

      • illadelphiasphinest - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:29 PM

        Wowowowowow. Not whining at all. Just saying that there is a glaring need to improve the D. Rather then overpaying for a 35yo Dman the team could have used a younger, defensive minded player like Pietraneglo.

      • narfmoo12 - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:27 PM

        Yeah that makes sense, but I’d rather lose a 4th round pick and gain a puck moving defenseman than lose a combination of first rounders, Couturier, Schenn, Laughton, Coburn, Gustafsson, Simmonds, etc togain a young defenseman.

  2. zwilhelm16 - Jul 8, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Well Petro is the one guy that isn’t going anywhere.

  3. 19to77 - Jul 8, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Stewart posted 18-18-36 in 48 games while also seeming to get his temper under control, logging only 40 PIM – he didn’t shy away from rough play, but he wasn’t a liability as in previous years, and he led the team in goals and points. I can think of a lot of teams that would want a player like that. Could be that some other GMs are waiting to see what Pietrangelo’s new deal puts the Blues’ cap at and then devising offer sheets accordingly?

    As an aside I have no idea why Toronto figures David Clarkson is worth $5.25m for seven years but doesn’t even seem to kick the tires regarding Chris Stewart, who’s younger, more talented and probably would have come cheaper – or at least been worth that length of term if not.

    • dueman - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:06 PM

      I don’t see how you think that he would have come cheaper? To get him you would have to use an offer sheet which means you would have to be willing to pay him quite a bit more than what he is worth for the offer sheet to be successful. Since he made $3.25 mil last season, an offer sheet that would not be matched would have to be in the $5+million range. Now add in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd draft pics (or more possibly) that you have to give up in return. Now show me where it would be cheaper to get Stewart? Also don’t forget the bad blood that the team will create with St Louis as a future trading partner. Personally I think that David Clarkson was the better way to go, and considering the fact that other teams were willing to pay more, I think that Toronto did pretty good.

  4. chucksname - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    All this fuss for a chronic underachiever… Derrick Roy. This is now his 4th team in two years? How does Roy make the Blues better in April?

    Looks like another year they don’t see May.

  5. bullwinkle88 - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    St. Louis is one of the now very few teams which still might want Ryan Miller. For Miller, it’s halfway to his wife’s home and I’m sure the Blues are not on his “don’t make me go there no matter what!” list.

    Stewart, Halak and a pick would be compensation enough for Darcy, I would think.

    • isithockeyseasonyet - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:19 PM

      What makes you think the blues have any interest in spending more for a goaltender when their goaltending was not an issue last year?

    • 19to77 - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:22 PM

      Why is the hell would they want Ryan Miller when they’ve already got Brian Elliott, Jake Allen AND Jaro Halak? That makes no sense at all.

    • biasedhomer - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:31 PM

      How much of an upgrade is Miller? Not much, its not worth it.

    • buddysguys - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:48 PM

      i would think they want some sort of stability at Goal, Miller save pct was way better last year and his GAA on a craplousy team wasnt much worse…oh and he will play 75 games for you….those other three split 48 games this year due to groins, backs and being garbage.

      with St Louis D in front of him he would be a far better upgrade over those 2 journeymen and a kid.

      • wannabebluesplayer - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:06 PM

        I would trade Halak for Miller, but I would make Buffalo take Elliott as well to cover the salary swap. I know they have Hackett and Enroth, but what the hell, might as well try to get Darcy into another stupid move (like signing Leino or Erhoff to those ridiculous contracts). That would give Allen a good mentor and Backes and Jackman wouldn’t let Miller get away with calling people out all the time.

      • jordache49 - Jul 8, 2013 at 8:23 PM

        Goaltending has been a big issue for the Blues. Halak cant stay healthy and Elliot has been a good find the last few years, but meeting the Kings and Quick has shown they need a goalie who can steal a game or two. They outplayed LA for most of that last series except between the pipes.

        Another issue for the Blues is goal scoring. Their scoring is more spread out and there isnt that constant, legitimate goal scoring threat. Up the middle or on the wing. It haunts them come playoff time.

        If I were the Blues I’d try and pry Miller and Vanek off Buffalo’s hands and offer along the lines of Stewart, Perron and Halak. Both players fill big needs for the Blues and Buffalo gets two good, young, cheaper forwards to rebuild with. Halak can bridge that gap between Enroth and Hackett. Exchange some prospect/picks to even it out.

        Then i’d ake Elliot and dangle him for pick/prospect, to a goalie needy team (Flames, Islanders) who could use a goalie who can give 30/40 starts for a low cap hit. Helps Blues relieve some of the additional salary taken with Miller and Vanek.

        Blues bring up Allen behind Miller and still have plenty to sign Petro and remain below cap. Some familiarity for both players there with Roy and Leopold there too.

        Just seems like a perfect fit to me

  6. andyreidisfat - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    I will not be at all shocked to see homer send an offer sheet for the young defenseman. I do think the blues would match any sheet offered. I think an under 24 defenseman is worth whatever the flyers could draft in the bottom 3rd of the draft the next 3-4 years as I do expect the flyers to be back at the top as contender next year.

    As for the blues I think they need both guys and need to do what it takes to keep them. I like what the blues have going and with the west being so wide open they could contend soon.

    In fact the whole league is wide open. Besides Boston and hawks fans who had them winning the past two cups??? Only a liar would say they did. I think the nhl has really done a good job of moving twords a any team can win or even go worst to first. As much as I think the commish needs to go I also have to compliment him on what the nhl is going to look like for the next ten years or so. Besides a very small hand full of teams I think any team has a legit shot to get hot and win a cup and its not just based on goalies. I just wish they would take away the guaranteed contracts, or at least make them only guaranteed for the first 2-3 years so teams could drop players so we could avoid the farce that is pronged right now who can’t retire or the flyers are on the hook for his salary so he keeps saying he wants to play again so the flyers can put him on ltir to get the cap hit off. That’s just silly, we all know he is done. Let him retire ND have the cap number go away.

  7. cameltoews - Jul 8, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    I don’t think you understand that you can’t just get a player like Petro. The blues would never let him go. Just like there were no offer sheets on McDonaugh. Young promising dmen are very rarely let go unless the return is too good to pass up. The flyers would have hurt their team trying to get a player like him than help. I think you guys need to see if last season was just a fluke. If it wasn’t, then a lot more than your defense needs to change.

  8. mrpinkca - Jul 8, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    It’s a real shame that nobody uses offer sheets…

  9. 22bju - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:14 PM

    Jordache… Good call, I’ve heard that same sort of scenario a bunch on various forums. I’d make that deal if I were both teams. It’s the right time for the blues to make a big push.

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