Monday night, David Taylor, Vice President of Hockey Operations of St. Louis Blues was representing a group of the Blues scouting the Rangers. It’s no secret that the Blues need some help right now.
St. Louis is looking for a forward that can help in the scoring department, but only for the right exchange, so the Blues scouting the Rangers makes a lot of sense. Let’s take a look at what the Blues have to offer and what the Rangers are willing to part with.
The Possible Trade Targets
Very recently, Rick Nash was asked for a No-Trade list. Yesterday, Nash turned that list in. Rick has rejected being traded to 18 teams. There are 12 undisclosed teams that will have a shot at #61. At 33 years old, His days as a top 6 forward may be running thin but he’s had an impressive career.
He should be able to produce from the 3rd line of a contending team, and certainly, help out on a power play. Rick Nash has suited up for 1042 games. He’s scored 431 goals and has tallied 365 assists. He’s a savvy veteran with 15 and a half NHL seasons under his belt. The Brampton, Ontario native isn’t the popular choice in St. Louis due to him simply being past his prime.
Michael Grabner is another player that the New York Rangers are possibly looking to trade. The 30-year-old winger scored 27 goals last season in a total of 76 games. However, this season he already has 21 goals in just 52 games. He’s much more of a scorer than a playmaker as he has just 5 assists this season. Grabner has a total of 87 assists in 525 career games. He seems to have really found himself this past season and a half.
Mats Zuccarello is a playmaker. This season, Mats has 30 assists and 8 goals this year in 52 total games. The Norwegian has 300 points in his 7 season stint with the NYR. He’s a smaller guy, but he’s a very smart hockey player. I think his lack of lighting the lamp may be a concern. There’s no question when it comes to his playmaking abilities, and he does shoot the puck. When I first heard the rumor, I felt he’d be a great fit in St. Louis but I’m not sure I feel the same after doing some research.
What the Blues Have to Offer
The Blues have a lot to offer but are they willing to let someone special go? There’s always that big fear of sending the wrong guy off and he becomes a superstar. That can really come back to bite you.
The truth is St. Louis has some kids with serious potential and the mere thought of trading them might give a Blues fan an anxiety attack, but St. Louis is quite fortunate to be in the situation they are.
The kids in St. Louis are valuable and it’s making this whole situation a very difficult task. When it comes down to competing for a cup, you use your assets one way or another. You keep them for the future, or you trade them for the necessary pieces of your championship contender.
With players in the system like Jordan Kyrou, Klim Kostin, Robert Thomas, Jake Walman & Jordan Schmaltz; You can imagine the kind of return St. Louis could get for just packaging one or two of these players into a deal. Not to mention there are players on the Blues roster that fans would be willing to part with for a legitimate return as well.
In time we’ll find out just how the front office feels about the active roster. It’s a touchy subject in St. Louis where many are invested in the future of this team, but fans have been waiting for a Stanley Cup since 1967. They’re impatient, and why wouldn’t they be?
Rick Nash is not appealing
Could the Blues benefit from acquiring Rick Nash? In my opinion, that’s a coin toss. Playing on a $7.8 million salary, Nash has 25 points in 53 games. I think he’ll be taking a pay cut wherever he decides to sign.
Also, consider that the St. Louis Blues are looking for goal support. Right now Rick Nash has 15 goals on the season. He could surely be an effective third liner, but with his contract situation, do we really want to send off a prospect? That’s the big question.
In this article by hildymac of St. Louis Gametime, She states that “Extra scoring and playoff experience are always appreciated, but how much can we expect from an aging forward having a down season?” It’s a good point.
Rick Nash doesn’t have his mojo anymore, or at least it seems that way. I’m not saying it’s impossible for him to turn it around, but it’s not likely that he’ll ever be the player he used to be. This is a good read and I recommend taking a moment to visit St. Louis Game Time for more St. Louis Blues write-ups.
Grabner or Zuccarello
Is Michael Grabner the guy St. Louis should be targeting? I think so. It’s just plain and simple. The Blues need scoring. Michael is playing for $1.65 million right now and becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. It wouldn’t be outrageous for St. Louis to sign Grabner in the offseason, however, I do expect him to make more money. He deserves it.
Is Mats Zuccarello a right fit for St. Louis? He’s such an exciting player, but I don’t think so. He’s been in the league 7 seasons, and some would argue he’s in his prime but I just don’t see his style of play filling the need that St. Louis has right now.
So yes, I’m passing on one of my favorite players to watch. Mats makes 3.5 million right now and also becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of his season. He’ll be looking for a raise.
If the St. Louis Blues are going to deal with the New York Rangers, they should trade for Michael Grabner. Now, there’s plenty of time before the deadline, and there are other players out there.
I imagine that St. Louis will take their time in making a decision unless the Blues continue to lack scoring and start to fall in the standings. It’s an uncomfortable situation for General Manager Doug Armstrong of the Blues, but he’s likely to make that move sooner than later if things continue to be the way they have been.
Are the Blues and Rangers a fit? What are your thoughts on who the Blues should target? Let us know in the comments below or on social media!
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