Unless you've somehow blocked out Twitter or the many St. Louis Blues sites and message boards the past few weeks, you're likely aware of all of the trade rumors and speculation swirling around both the Blues and the NHL.
Will the Blues make a deal before the deadline on April 3rd? Maybe, but if they do it's doubtful the team will move one of their forwards.
Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that he believes that barring GM Doug Armstrong wanting to give the Blues a completely new look up front, the Blues will stand pat at forward. Rutherford comments that even the most likely trade targets, Andy McDonald and Chris Stewart, probably won't be traded as they are vital to the team's playoff run.
Rutherford comments that McDonald is a key component to a deep playoff run and Stewart appears to fit in the team's long-term plans, assuming the price to retain him isn't astronomical.
What about the St. Louis defense, you ask? That's a difficult question. The team's defense has been better of late yet most fans would tell you that an upgrade is necessary. Is one coming? No, unless the Blues are willing to shell out a high price in order to land a new defender. As we saw in the Penguins / Douglas Murray trade, a new defenseman won't come cheap.
Despite having the most available cap space in the NHL, the Blues have to be extremely cautious with the new contracts they bring in. Currently, the largest contract on the St. Louis roster belongs to Andy McDonald with $4.7 million in 2013. As you might imagine, bringing in a contract in the neighborhood of $6 million or $7 million per season doesn't really fit the current strategy.