In an article on the team's website by our buddy (in an internet sense, you know) Chris Pinkert, Keith Tkachuk admits that he wants to stay with the team and chase a Stanley Cup.
The interview, which mentions that he was considering retirement, also catches a couple quotes from team president John Davidson (who seems to indicate that the Blues could have gotten 'an important pick' for Tkachuk at the deadline) and from Brad Boyes, who seems to take on the mantle of speaking for all of the players in saying they want him back.
It's an interesting read and seems, in our opinion, to set the table for the team to re-sign Big Walt. But the questions continue to remain about throwing another couple million at the once-dominating power forward who may see his numbers slip and his icetime reflect more like a fourth-liner than a second-liner.
If he comes back to the Blues he'll be expected to be the grizzled veteran with leadership and experience to help guide a young team. He'll likely still be on the power play, but will probably play fewer minutes at even strength than he has in the last couple years.
The downside that most will point to are his continued high expense compared to his diminishing returns (it's widely speculated that the numbers will have to be around $2-$2.5 million on a one or two year deal in order to work for both sides). The Blues have thrown too much money at players who should probably be earning less than they do (Jay McKee's $4 million a year, Barret Jackman's $3.6 million a year and Eric Brewer's $4.25 million a year immediately leap to mind) already and will need to manage their salary cap better going forward as the youngsters start to be eligible for new contracts (Erik Johnson's is up after next year, as is David Perron's; TJ Oshie, Patrik Berglund, Lars Eller and Alex Pietrangelo are all up after the following season).
Call us fans of Tkachuk, but we feel like if he's let go the Blues will be looking to acquire a guy in the near future who has veteran leadership and experience, can play on the power play and who can pot 20-plus goals a season. Seems like ol' No. 7 already fits that bill, doesn't it?