It is time for today's Chat-enkirk.
Let's talk about this. Maybe the Blues could've gotten a better current player (or two) if they had traded Kevin Shattenkirk in the summer. But they did get a lot out of Shatty this season (second in points on your St. Louis Blues). Clearly Armstrong tried to maximize the deal, and with Shatty being a rental player, then this was the market for the haul Army would get. There seems to be a lot of angst about the trade -- one gent tweeted to me, "you might opt for a sick day. Todays chat will be brutal with blues fans up in arms about shatty trade. Good luck in the trenches!" -- but the reality is, what could they have gotten? JVR apparently wasn't available or there wasn't a right opportunity for that trade to Toronto. Yes, it's frustrating when you lose a player for a player you've never heard of an a pick, as you said, that doesn't have the standard allure of a first-rounder, because Washington is so good. But again -- what better could they get? Why have we just destermined that this Fred Sanford guy is a bust? He's been in the NHL for like two months!
Another thing about Shatty before I get to that playoff Q: It makes sense that a team like the Rangers, a likely landing spot for 22, would want to keep assets and try to sign him in the free agency period.
I think they'll make it. Wild card, baby! It's going to be like the Cardinals final-week run last season. But I think the Blues will hold on. Six of the final 12 games are against the Coyotes and Avalanche. And I think Jake has fared much better lately.
For me, it's at center. You've got to improve the Lehtera spot/role/whatever you call it. I'm fine with Berglund being third-line center (I might be in the minority on that), but the Blues will have to get creative and figure out a way to boost one of the other center spots. The reality is, there is not much $$$ flexibility, so it'll be key to see what Vegas does. I do see optomism in a team that, moving forward offensively, has Tarasenko, Fabbri, Schwartz, Steen, Stastny and some new awesome center. Or who knows, maybe Tage Thompson is that guy. Also, by the way, I feel like Zach Sanford is getting a bad rap because he wasn't Zach Parise in his first 26 games in the NHL. He's played 26 games, is still finding himself, and some people think he's a bust.
Incidentally, in 1957 the Cards went with Ken Boyer (!) in CF. The Great No. 14 had played third and short the previous two seasons, played in center in 57 and then moved back to third, where he became part of STL lore. In the winter after 57, the Cards made a trade with Cincy and got the young outfielder Curt Flood. He started in 58 in center and became the mainstay for the next decade-plus. This of course begs the question -- would the Cards have made the trade for Flood is Charles Peete had played and played well in CF in 1957?
In all honesty, that was my first thought. In addition to Shattenkirk being a quality defenseman, he was probably the best Blues talker -- meaning he enhanced our Post-Dispatch analysis of why the Blues did well or weren't doing well ... or whatever the hot topic was. The way he talked about the game was an asset to this hockey town. He'll be missed for that. I suppose Steener is a good choice, he and Petro break it down pretty well.
Hey Fabbri's Knee, hope you're healing well. And yea, this is not a Houston Astros rebuild guys. The knee is right. But yes, the key is the growth of Fabbri and Parayko. It's looking good, but will they deserve big bucks and a long-term contract. So yeah, you're banking on Petro and Parayko as your top-two D men, and you've got the previous five forwards I mentioned -- Vladi, Fabbri, Schawrtz, Stas, Steen. And of course there's a lot riding on Jake. The Q is about how the Lehteras and Bows can be upgraded (and how Vegas will play into it). But really, the key is Jake.
If Jedd is as potent as last season -- and Peralta's play makes Jedd a backup -- then that's a good thing. That means Jhonny is playing really well and contributing in the middle of that lineup. The biggest problem is if BOTH guys have down years. Then you've gotta do something by the deadline. We talk about Todd Frazier a lot in this chat. And long-time chatters knows my man crush on Evan Longoria's play. As for Jhonny, I'm curious to see him in person (I'll be at spring training tomorrow for a couple weeks). They said he's worked on his fitness, but that pic of him in the Sunday paper suggested otherwise.
Kolten is crucial. I know it's weird saying that about a potential No. 8 hitter, but he's got to provide the Cards with 150-plus games of steady (and sometimes flashy) defense and -- how can I eloquently say this? -- not-crappy offense. I'm not expecting 1975 Joe Morgan coming from the Cards' 2B position, but Wong's defense and athleticism is key. So, yeah, here's hoping this shoulder thing goes away before the real games start. Because it's not about depth with the infield -- they neeeeeed KW.
I like your passion, but let's break it down -- who exactly would make sense to trade?