About 15 minutes after the NHL trade deadline ended at 2 p.m. St. Louis time, Jeremy Rutherford from the Post-Dispatch confirmed on Twitter what many fans were afraid of.
The Blues are done trading. No more deals will trickle through.
Granted, the Blues did trade Peoria captain Yan Stastny to Vancouver for fellow AHL player Pierre-Cedric Labrie and they shipped prospect Aaron Palushaj to Montreal for Matt D'Agostini. But that's all they did. They didn't touch one player on the NHL roster. They didn't acquire any draft picks or highly regarded prospects. They didn't cash in any players set to be unrestricted free agents in the offseason. Basically they stood pat. And I can see where that's a good thing. And I can see where that's a bad thing. For a team that has an interim coach and felt like it was in limbo as the Andy Murray era ended, this seems fitting.
The first implication from a lack of trades is that the Blues didn't want to break apart any piece of the team to hurt their chances for making the playoffs. They stand three points out of eighth, but they are one of five teams within three points of that spot. So with 19 games, it's going to be a hectic dogfight for that last spot. Subtracting any player on the NHL roster would have hurt that effort. So that's a good thing, right?
But the Blues didn't add anyone to the NHL roster beyond D'Agostini, a guy with two goals and two assists in 40 NHL games this year and a career plus/minus rating of minus-29. Don't tell me he counts. What that means to me is that the Blues are realistic and understand that they're not one or two players away from a deep playoff run. So they didn't deal any draft picks or highly regarded prospects for rental players. So while the team is pushing for the playoffs, they didn't help themselves reach that goal. So that's bad, right?
The one thing the quiet deadline shows is that the Blues are committed to their philosophy of growing from within. They aren't throwing picks and prospects around like the franchise did 10 and 15 and 20 years ago. This front office has much more patience than their predecessors. As we've written about before but are too lazy to link that this team for many of its 40-plus years has expressed a desire to build from within...and then the team never followed through on the plan. But they did trade Aaron Palushaj, a second round pick (
144th overall) in the 2007 draft. He was lured out of college early at the University of Michigan and has been at Peoria this season. Either Palushaj just needs a chance to perform in the right situation, which would suck for the Blues, or they totally whiffed on a high draft pick, which would suck for the Blues' reputation in drafting and developing players.
This deadline day sure feels like the Blues are stuck in neutral. We joked that the trade value for Brad Boyes and Paul Kariya was small. We didn't know how right we probably were.
What's you're opinion, valued reader? Disappointed? Think the Blues made a mistake by doing/not doing something? Let us know...down below.