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The St. Louis Blues young star forward TJ Oshie is continuing talks with the blues, but is expected to hit arbitration. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the Blues and Oshie will argue their cases for a reasonable and fair salary that will be set by a neutral 3rd party. Both parties want a deal done, arbitration simply helps to get deals done when the player and team hit a road block in negotiating numbers. However, this can start some discussion as many rumors started surfacing last year when Shea Weber filed for arbitration last year. I feel David Backes and his cap hit of $4.5 million is the bar for Oshie. So what do you feel is a fair number for Oshie?
Other than this small news, the Blues are in search for a top 4 defender but have come up short on players like Matt Carle, Bryan Allen, and Jason Garrison. Of those three, Bryan Allen came at the only reasonable cap hit and be grateful the Blues didn’t spend $5.5 million per year on Carle, as this would of drove Alex Pietrangelo’s and Kevin Shattenkirk’s values more than what they are now. Jeff Woywitka, Taylor Chorney, Scott Ford, and goalie Mike McKenna have been signed so far during free agency and these players may simply be additions to Peoria.
So, the Blues have about $25 million in cap space and are still about $10 million away from the floor, but they should be able to reach it with Oshie’s and David Perron’s new contracts. The Blues will then have about $15 million in cap space, so what do they do next? I feel the Blues will be making a trade for a top 4 defenseman. With Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko coming to the big club, this leaves Matt D’agostini, Vladimir Sobotka, and possibly TJ Oshie or Chris Stweart available for trade. Here are some questions to ponder for a few days:
What defenseman would you like to see in a Blues uniform? If Doug Armstrong decides to make a trade, who would you let go? What would you want for TJ Oshie?