The St. Louis Blues rumors are very quiet and not much is going on. The only news the St. Louis Blues have really made is the signing of Chris Stewart to a one year deal at $3 million and that Vladimir Tarasenko signed a 3 year entry level deal with the Blues as well. So is it all that bad that the Blues are quiet in the rumor mill? Not at all. The NHL salary cap is expected to reach up to $70.3 million (current CBA) which will give the Blues about $30 million in cap space. This will be used to resign and to give raises to Tj Oshie and David Perron. Scott Nichol would be nice to resign for the 4th line and Jason Arnott could be used for another year to help this young team out. Carlo Colaiacovo and Barret Jackman can be resigned at his current rate and now this leaves the Blues at about $10-$15 million in free cap space after other signings. With new owners, Blues fans are expecting them to use that money to acquire new players that will help the team. So who do you want to see in a Blues uniform come draft day or at free agency?
The obvious could be adding a big D guy like Ryan Suter or Dennis Wideman, but with Ken Hitchcock’s system and the stellar goaltending, the defense is fine. The biggest concern to me is scoring. The LA Kings swept the Blues (granted the Kings were on fire), because the Blues couldn’t put up more than 2 goals. Many of the Blues losses throughout the regular season came because they could not score more than 2 goals and their goals for was very low for a team who was 3rd in the league in points. Sure the Kings struggled worse, but with their acquisition of Jeff Carter, it created a tough 1-2 punch that teams could not handle, which drastically helped them in their playoff run.
Zach Parise would be ideal on the blues, then again on many other teams as well. But the Blues have the room to sign him long term, and not go into cap hell as some other teams are in. Andy McDonald only has one year left, Stewart was just resigned to a one year deal, and if he has the mediocre season like he did in 2011-2012, then there is no reason to keep him. Mcdonald is quick, tough, and one hell of a team player, but at 34 who knows what his future is after this year. Even though the Blues have some solid prospects in Tarasenko, Schwartz, and Ty Rattie, there is no guarantee how they will contribute to the big club. Parise becomes the big star in St. Louis and his ability to contribute on the PP, PK, and many other situations makes him that much better.
29 other NHL teams would love to have him, but lets break this down. After signing certain players, I’d guess about 10 teams will not have the cap room to be able to sign him and another 5 teams would be way too close to the cap which would leave them on the bubble. Thats 15 teams down. After coming so close to the cup, Parise wants to win and be set to win for a long time, so he will want to go to a contending team. So another 5 teams are out. Now Parise wants to go some place, like New Jersey, where he can be counted on as a leader. So cross out another 3-5 teams. This leaves the Blues along with a few other teams where he could go. Parise will be the leader of a young Blues team and will help other players become better.
I know this is kind of a fantasy blog as there is very little chance of Parise coming to St. Louis as he may not want to be here or other teams overpaying for him, but it does make sense. The Blues get a dynamic winger who would prosper in Hitchcock’s system and Parise becomes the Blues best player and one of their top leaders.