Even though the St. Louis Blues have not made much of a splash in free agency, they still have been making some news in the hockey world. The biggest news is the signing of David Perron right before the arbitration deadline. Perron’s deal is for 4 years and $15.25 million ($3.8 million per year). A con could be his risk of concussion, and some saw only a 1 or 2 year deal, but the 4 year deal probably allowed the cap hit to be slightly lower. Perron may be the best forward on the Blues and we have seen last year when he was healthy, Perron is capable of putting the puck in the net. He ranked 2nd on the team in goals with 21 in only 57 games. His points per game was about .74 last season and if he plays a full 82 games, then he is capable of 60-70 points. Keep in mind he is still only 24 years old and seems to only be improving and maturing.
Now for the rumors. For the most part they have been quiet, BUT Doug Armstrong has shown to be looking for a top 4 defenseman and he will be via trade. Armstrong would like to use draft picks, but depending on who is being shopped around, a player or two may need to be included. The name I have heard is Keith Yandle. Even though Yandle’s name has been thrown around quite often since the draft, the Blues are a team that continues to be mentioned whenever a Yandle trade is discussed. The Blues have their draft picks as well as the prospects or depth to make it happen. The Phoenix Coyotes may have a high asking price, but the Blues could make a deal that helps them out. Along with what most likely could be a high draft pick, the Blues could send Chris Stewart, Matt D’Agostini, or a prospect or two. With Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz joining the team, this may make it easier to let go of some of these offensive players.
Another big name I am hearing is Jay Bouwmeester. J Bo comes at a higher cap hit, but can provide the same qualities that Yandle presents. The Blues have plenty of cap space to obtain him and for only 2 years, it may not be a bad trade if Armstrong and the Blues can make a deal. I do feel Yandle would be a much better fit on the Blues, but Bouwmeester’s skill in Ken Hitchcock’s system could be great. The Calgary Flames are interested in Chris Stewart, Ty Rattie, and/or Matt D’Agostini, but may want more depending what the package includes. This isn’t a bad deal, depending on what more the Flames are looking for.
The Blues have also expressed interest in veteran forward Shane Doan. His leadership would be great with this young club, especially with Jamie Langenbrunner and Jason Arnott looking less and less likely to resign.
Some other news is that David Backes was voted the Team MVP and the Best Forward by the Blues fans. The Best Defenseman went to Alex Pietrangelo, which is a no brainer. The Unsung Hero award went to Vladimir Sobotka and the Biggest Surprise was Brian Elliott. The Most Popular was TJ Oshie and Blues fans favorite moment was when they advanced to the conference semifinals. My picks were: MVP-Backes, Forward-Perron, Defenseman-Pietrangelo, Unsung Hero-Jason Arnott, Biggest Surprise-Elliott, and Best Moment-Winning the Central Division.