Examining the Blues Loss of David Perron

Examining the Blues Loss of David Perron

The Vegas Golden Knights have come into the league firing on all cylinders. One of the reasons for their success is former St. Louis Blues forward, Perron.

David Perron is having one heck of a season in Sin City. He’s scored 16 goals and has registered a career-high 47 assists in 64 games played for a total of 63 points. David holds an even plus/minus rating and has served 46 PIM.

Did you ever think that Perron would become a point-per-game player? I can’t say that I expected this, but I’ve always believed in David as he is one of my favorite NHL players to watch. Seeing him slowly progress has been interesting. There were some growing pains, but overall, I think he’s become quite an entertaining and effective player.

The Expansion Draft

In June of 2017, The St. Louis Blues submitted a list of who they’d be protecting. On the list were seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goaltender. Here are the forwards that were protected.

To refresh your memory; Read @JMJones‘ article, Blues establish expansion protection list from St. Louis Gametime.

Hind Sight is 20/20… or is it?

I took to social media to find out what Blues fans thought about the fact that David Perron was left unprotected given his recent success in Vegas. What I’ve come to find out is that there are a lot of mixed emotions when it comes to St. Louis fans and their thoughts on DP57.

My personal opinion is that Perron was a valuable asset to this team. Many Blues fans disagree, pointing out that his production in the 2016-17 playoffs was minimal. Another point that many fans brought up was the fact that David took too many penalties on a regular basis.

Some Blues fans agree with me. They miss watching David protect the puck with the best of them. Perron was great at creating space for his teammates. In my opinion, there’s one player on the Blues active roster that’s also very good at this. That’s Jaden Schwartz. These two players hound the puck in a similar fashion and it’s fun to watch.

Was letting Perron go the right move? At the time, I honestly thought it was. I don’t feel the same anymore now that he’s producing at the level that he is. Now, we can look back on David’s flaws as a Blue, but it seems to me he’s overcome those flaws. I look forward to seeing how well he performs this post-season.

 

Pulling for Perron

One thing is for sure, #57 has a lot of fans here. Everyone is happy to see him succeed with the Golden Knights. Many believe that if he were still in St. Louis, it wouldn’t be the same story. The Knights have something to prove. They’ve got chips on their shoulders and there’s very little pressure sitting on the first-year expansion team.

I do believe that this last change of scenery has worked wonders for David. If Perron were playing for the Blues; I completely agree that his production level would be to some extent lower than it is right now. I don’t feel that warrants letting him go though because I’d gladly take just 40 of his points right now, to be honest.

David’s 63 points currently exceed that of any St. Louis Blues player. Vladimir Tarasenko and Brayden Schenn both have 58, and Jaden Schwartz has 49. It’s hard for me to look at this and not get a little sick to my stomach considering the Blues are lacking some top six and power play roles.

Protecting Center-Ice

My original argument was that the Blues chose to protect Vladimir Sobotka and Patrik Berglund over David Perron. I disagree with this when I compare the three players. Some Blues fans believe that Sobotka and Berglund were protected simply due to the fact that they’re able to play center-ice.

I can understand where the fans are coming from when I consider how thin the Blues are up the middle (especially now that Stastny is gone), but I’d also like to point out that both Sobotka and Berglund have played their fair share on the wing this season. Regardless, the two are able to play center-ice as Perron is solely a left winger.

Lacking Right Handed Forwards

St. Louis has a lot of left-handed forwards on their roster. In fact, Kyle Brodziak, Tage Thompson, Chris Thorburn, and Oscar Sundqvist are the only right-handed shots that the Blues have in front. The Blues have zero right-handed shots from the left-wing. David Perron was by far the most offensively talented right-handed forward on the team and the only right-handed shot coming from the left-wing. I feel that was one reason he should have been protected.

Fabbri

With the Blues expecting to start a player like Robbie Fabbri in the 2017-18 season, it makes more sense that Perron was left unprotected. At the time of the Expansion Draft, nobody knew that Fabbri was going to go down with his second knee injury. It’s easy to forget about this since he hasn’t played all year, but Robbie Fabbri was definitely a part of the equation that deleted David Perron.

Reaves

At first, I didn’t like Ryan Reaves being protected over #57. Now, I’m a fan of the move because of what transpired afterward. I am a huge Reaves fan and hated to see him go, but I’m very excited for the Blues future. The outcome couldn’t be better as the Blues went on to add a special player to the mix.

We all wonder how long Doug Armstrong knew that he was trading Ryan to the Penguins for that 31st pick. As much as I enjoyed having Reaves around, I think this turned out to be a fantastic trade for the Blues as they went on to draft young Klim Kostin. In my opinion; If we had protected Perron over Reaves, chances are that #75 would have been selected by Vegas. Therefore no Kostin.

Berglund

Patrik Berglund was coming off a brilliant contract year. At the time, It made sense to protect him and sign him. Now, he hasn’t been the same player and that’s a shame, but looking back, St. Louis would have been out of their minds to let Berglund go after such a season.

Patrik scored a career-high 23 goals and tallied 11 assists in 2016-17. He looked like he had broken out of his shell. He was playing like he wanted to be here. Blues did exactly what any club would have done. They protected him, then extended his contract.

It’s unfortunate to see Patrik have such a down season to follow. When we look at this season as a whole; St. Louis might regret committing to Berglund. I think any Blues fan would agree to swap Patrik Berglund for David Perron right now.

Sobotka

Vladimir Sobotka had spent 3 seasons in the KHL. Fans were really excited to get him back in St. Louis. Vladi could have walked at the end of the 2016-17 season, but the Blues were high on having him back. They protected him and eventually gave him a deal.

Personally, I disagree with this move. Sobotka went on to prove that he isn’t the player that he used to be. Not consistently, at least. I feel that General Manager, Doug Armstrong thought he was signing Pre-KHL Vladimir Sobotka and that’s clearly not what happened.

On a positive note, Vladi has scored a career-high 10 goals this season. A negative, he only has 16 assists to David’s 46. Let’s be honest. It’s been proven that it was a bad decision to protect Sobotka instead of Perron.

Ask Yourself…

  • When you look at Perron’s production this year, do you wish the Blues had cut him some slack?
  • Are you happy with Patrik Berglund’s 16 points and -11 plus/minus rating?
  • Do you feel that Vladimir Sobotka’s 26 points and -7 plus/minus rating is good enough?
  • Do you stand with Armstrong’s decision to extend these two contracts?
  • Will either of them ever put up anything close to a point per game?

Conclusion

My opinion is this: Vladimir Sobotka and Patrik Berglund are on an entirely different spectrum than a player like David Perron. If I’m Doug Armstrong, I’m taking an L on this one. While many will disagree with me, I’m throwing it out there that David Perron should have never been left unprotected at the expansion draft. He’s gone now and he’s flourishing. Deny it all you want, but St. Louis lost a good one.

READ: Doug Armstrong has Hamstrung the St. Louis Blues Roster

I stated earlier that I agreed with protecting Berglund because of his performance last season. (I still don’t like his contract and I’m disappointed in his play now). If I was the GM and I had a time machine; I’d be on my way back to June 2017 to scratch Vladimir Sobotka’s name off of my list and I’d surely scribble in David Perron. The question then becomes: Would Vegas have even selected Sobotka? We’ll never know.

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