Last week’s NHL FanPulse question posited if fans believed that their team would be a buyer or a seller at the NHL trade deadline. The Blues’ slump still has them leading the Central and leading the Western Conference - and as we all know, barring the occasional contract dump oddity, teams that are higher in the standings add pieces at the trade deadline from teams who are not so high in the standings.
It’s a classic rental dump: if you’re in the bottom half of the league, have guys who are pending UFAs (or pending RFAs that you know will ask for a chunk of change), and you don’t believe that you will be able to re-sign them, you let them go. You give another team something to get something in return: draft picks and prospects for a rebuild.
Occasionally you’ll see a team in the middle of the pack, who are on the playoff bubble, who deals away a core player. That doesn’t happen often - think about the Blues dealing Paul Stastny to Winnipeg a couple of years ago - but it can happen because a team wants to shake up their locker room or free up some cap space. The cover of “we’re probably not going to make the playoffs” can often make fans more forgiving of a team unloading someone they know won’t re-sign.
The issue with the Blues being buyers at the deadline is one of prospects and picks. Do the Blues want to bank on Vladimir Tarasenko being gone the rest of the season? If so, would it be worthwhile to cough up a first round pick and top prospects for someone that they will have issues re-signing next year? Trying to sign someone like, say, Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers would throw a spanner in the works as far as re-signing captain Alex Pietrangelo. It’d be fantastic to have Kreider and Tarasenko for the playoffs if you’re playing dynasty mode, but if you’re playing the long game, at what cost will Kreider come at?
My question is at the expense of those in the 7%: why do you think the Blues will be sellers? Who do they ship off? Answer in the comments, because we’d genuinely like to hear from you.