Good morning. Welcome to an early chat. Some things to talk about today. Already questions are waiting. Let's go.
I found it interesting that only three teams had a protection list for this expansion draft that was totally different than the one for Vegas in 2017: Detroit, Ottawa and the Blues. There's been that much change. So it's a rebuild, but it's a talented rebuild. The Blues didn't strip down the team to load up on draft picks and youngsters. They've rebuilt on the fly with new, high-priced talent and an occasional youngster like Kyrou and Thomas. But even with losing Tarasenko and Schwartz, this team isn't being stripped down. They may not be a Cup contender this season, but they'll be a playoff team. I don't think this ownership group is gung-ho on starting over from scratch.
Well, all indications are they wanted to early last season (and if Seattle were to have taken someone else, they still probably want to), but didn't find the offers to their liking. The calculus for the Blues was this: Would the return on a Dunn trade be better than Oskar Sundqvist? Because that's the scenario you were looking at. If the Blues traded Dunn, then Seattle would likely have chosen a player like Sundqvist (or Blais or Sanford or Scandella), so now you're losing two guys rather than one. Early on last season, it was less of a factor, but in the last half of the season, that certainly went into their thinking.
Tarasenko can't just leave for the KHL. Sobotka could leave because he was out of contract at the time. Tarasenko has a contract with the Blues.
If players came back to the Blues in this trade, I doubt they would be anyone we've heard of. The best return for the Blues at the moment from trading Tarasenko is the $7.5 million in cap space they get, which will allow them to be more active in the free agent market. I would think a couple draft picks would be coming the Blues way, and maybe a prospect if there was someone in the other organization that the Blues were interested in that the other team felt was expendable.
I wouldn't say Pietrangelo was a malcontent at all. He wanted something the Blues weren't prepared to offer. He was never a distraction, even in his final season. Hoffman wasn't a malcontent; he just doesn't fit with Berube's style, though who knows? With all the goals about to go missing, maybe he'll fit more. Armstrong can be generous, as with Faulk and Krug, but he can also draw a strong line. Players realize it's a business.
There isn't a get-acquainted period this year, so technically, it's when free agency begins at 11 a.m. Central on July 28. Technically.
That was probably a condition of their entry into the league, that they had a window where they wouldn't lose players. I don't think the league was expecting them to be this good this fast.
Jim's reporting says the Blues had legitimate offers for Tarasenko, and will still have those offers for Tarasenko after the draft. I don't know that the Blues will get much in the way of a productive player. The main thing for them is ridding themselves of a player who doesn't want to be here and opening up cap space. I think draft picks are mostly what the Blues will get.
Don't know that we've had a definitive update on Sundqvist, but I haven't seen anything that says he won't be ready when camp opens. I think he indicated that in a radio interview.
Draft picks are always a valuable commodity for Armstrong, though it looks like there may be less reason to trade them this season since players leaving to free agency will be causing much of the roster churn. If the Blues lose Dunn, Tarasenko and Schwartz, who's left to trade?
Armstrong is under no obligation to trade Tarasenko. If the offers aren't there, he can keep him. But at this point, with the distraction that Tarasenko would be for the team, any offer that doesn't require the Blues to retain salary will likely be to Armstrong's liking. I think the Zamboni has left the barn, as you say, no matter how much love comes his way.
Well, from a Blues perspective, there are lots of unprotected players Seattle could take. Sam Anas, for instance, is unprotected. For a long time, Dunn has been the obvious choice, even with Tarasenko out there. He's a young, talented defenseman who some thought the Blues should have protected over other players. There was once a world where Sundqvist wasn't going to be protected, but Schwartz and Tarasenko's situation cleaned that up.
I believe so, yes. He was skating with the team at the end of the playoffs.
Can't blame them for not taking Price. That's a lot of money for a goalie who's been pretty average lately and is only getting older. Giordano makes sense from veteran leadership or as a captain, though if you make him the captain, you're pretty much committing to re-signing him when his contract runs out after this season.
Reports out of Canada say they aren't.
Right now, the Blues have 15 players signed who are likely to be on the team at about $64 million. Moving Tarasenko would give them about $25 million to work with, though they have to re-sign guys like Barbashev, Sanford, Kyrou and Thomas. So after they are signed, that should leave them, $16 million or so to spend on free agents. They would have room for a couple of guys.