Bobo's here, where's all the ballplayers?
I've seen a zillion late-season trades from the Blues and exactly zero led to true postseason glory. Some, like Alexei Gusarov, actually made things worse. Now add-on trades are even harder due to the cap constraints. Sure, the Blues will look to add something this season. No, I don't think there is a guy out there that will put the Blues over the top. That will have to come from the current group. Could the Blues eventually turn a defensive surplus into some offensive depth. Sure.
Tom was a pretty good hockey player. Hullie was a chubby kid with a shot. Drawing any grand conclusion about baseball players vs. hockey players would be ridiculous, however.
Thomas, Kyrou, Kostin,Thompson and Blais all have top six forward potential. All are being used in offensive scenarios during their development.
Half the teams in the league are currently looking for supplemental scoring. The bulk of the forwards in play right now are marginal. The Turris/Duchene swap in a three-way deal was a very rare early-season trade involving potential impact forwards. The real action will come much later when teams shop rental players.
Schenn was already an established power-play scorer. Most experts likely see Schenn now as a good player on very hot line. He is playing with two winger capable of creating plays and space. Around the NHL, Tarasenko is getting credit for both Schenn and Schwartz's success.
For the moment, it appears the Blues will keep Prosser and stick with eight D-men. Megan sailed through waivers again. With Gunnarsson the odd man out and multiple defensive options available in the minors, it could be time for some sort of deal. Is there a depth winger out there that makes sense? I'm skeptical, but I'm sure Doug Armstrong is searching.
Late season, perhaps. Thompson and Blais have had their taste of the NHL and it would not be surprising to see them factor in. Thomas is playing a strong two-way game in the OHL and he could also factor in after the junior hockey playoffs.
Carl could be an attractive chip. He played very well this year, his salary is moderate and he is not just a rental player. But the Blues won't just give him away, given the value of defensive depth.
We'll see. He's done that at every other level. He is making strides at this level. Ultimately he will have to earn the "elite" tag in postseason play. He seems to have the make-up to take that step, but absolutely nobody can predict whether a goaltender can take that last step in the playoffs. .He has stolen one playoff series, so that's a start.
He is a proven high-20s scorer, so, yes, playing on a red-hit line with two talented linemates could add a couple more goals to his total. The talent has always been there.
I can see the offense coming along. He is asserting himself more the last few weeks. He seems to have the offensive feel to produce more. He just needs to be quicker and more assertive on the attack.
The independent analysts like Corey Pronman of The Athletic speak highly of the key Blues prospects. They have to be in the NHL's Top 10 in terms of near-term prospects. Dunn is proving it at the NHL level, Walman is popular with scouts around the league and then there is the forward pile. This is why this team's competitive window is wide open.
This team has done a nice job of identifying high-upside guys in the middle of the first round and lower. This regime is much better at that than the previous regime. The Blues aren't settling for role players in the draft.
No, his drug ban was reduced from two years to six months. He was waiting to see if that happened. It did and he was suddenly eligible to play in the KHL again. At 36, that makes much more sense than jumping into the NHL's fast lane.
So you can trade one when the right opportunity arises. But, again, this is a tough time to acquire a winger. Many teams looking at the same time. Then again, Gunnarsson could help several teams. So I'm sure there is lots of chatter between Armstrong and his peers.
Inevitably the top line will cool off, just as the Stamkos/Kucherov combo cooled down for Tampa Bay. But Schenn is proving his 5-on-5 ability at the other end of the rink, playing really tough against high-end offensive players. He is a complete player, which the Blues were happy to discover.
Yeo is just trying to win games and make sure the Blues get into the playoffs. One thing at a time. Perhaps later this season he can fret about burnout. With Bouwmeester returning with fresh legs and the ability to play 20-plus hard minutes, I don't see the defensive corps burning out. There is some concern up front with the third line needing to do more so the top 6 guys don't get gassed, so that is something Armstrong will keep an eye.
He played his way back to the minors. Now he has to play his way back to the NHL. Ample opportunity for playing time exists for him on the third line. But he has to earn it.
Yeo is no rush to bid farewell to Prosser. He believes he can step in right now and play well. Obviously Gunnarsson played well too. Nice situation to have. It's not fair to Nate to sit week after week, but at least he is getting paid NHL dollars.