With the Blues dealing away Jake Allen and his contract to the Montreal Canadiens, the Blues freed up $4,350,000 worth of cap space toward signing Alex Pietrangelo. When you take Ville Husso’s $750,000 hit into consideration, that’s not going to be enough to get Pietrangelo plus a raise in under next season’s $81.5 million cap. Another shoe is going to fall.
Unfortunately, until Petro signs - either in St. Louis or elsewhere - a good chunk of off-season Blues news and commentary is probably going to focus on one thing: who else do they have to trade to get their captain back? It’s not going to be an easy decision for Doug Armstrong, and frankly, settling on someone is a tough decision for the pundits, too. The Blues have several players whose salaries would be nice to shed, but their age and NMC/NTCs are a hinderance. Let’s admit it, Alexander Steen’s going to be here until he retires or unless Doug Armstrong has blackmail material on another GM.
The players who do get paid a chunk and who are moveable are going to give Armstrong pause - is it worth it to move a younger player to re-sign Pietrangelo long-term? Do you want franchise stability or franchise growth - or do you risk moving a valuable young piece?
The Score tossed out four candidates for a trade to facilitate signing Pietrangelo, and I don’t know how many people will like their list.
The players on that list, in order of their perceived likelihood of trade, are:
- Colton Parayko
- Tyler Bozak
- Jaden Schwartz
- David Perron
The most difficult on that list to move would be Bozak and his $5 million a year cap hit. He has a limited no trade clause - he can be dealt, but only to teams on his ten-team list. He’s also 34, so a team that would be ok with the risk of a contract of that price on a player of Bozak’s age will be looking for veteran help. Teams that look for veteran help usually aren’t ones who are Stanley Cup contenders. It would be interesting to see if Bozak would be ok with a deal that would see him in a mentorship role, or if his list of teams are all ones whose window for a Cup is open.
As Josh Wegman points out, trading Perron and Schwartz are very unlikely. Both would have suitors, but Perron is coming of one of his best stretches of his career. Schwartz? We’ve seen in past seasons how poorly the Blues play when he’s out on the IR. I cringe to think of what happens if he’s dealt to another team.
That leaves Parayko. The Blues, as Wegman says, would get a haul for the defenseman, who did not have a good playoffs. Parayko’s one of the best young defensemen in the game, and re-signing Pietrangelo, even with a different player dumped for salary, puts Parayko’s future here in jeopardy if the cap doesn’t increase by 2022.
That leaves Armstrong with the decision of trading him now and maximizing return, or waiting to see what the future cap will be, while dealing other players to keep Pietrangelo here.
If you have a choice, who do you deal from The Score’s suggestions? Do you have another idea? Leave it in the comments.
Who do you trade to clear cap space?
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