The Blues have given qualifying offers to Jaden Schwartz, Vladimir Sobotka and three other skaters as the NHL’s free agency period begins to heat up.
Now official: #stlblues make qualifying offers to Schwartz, Sobotka, Wannstrom, Shields and Andronov. Nothing for Ponich or Shattock.
— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) June 30, 2014
It’s no surprise that the Blues qualified both Schwartz and Sobotka, but it’s noteworthy that they are closing the book on both Tyler Shattock and Brett Ponich. Both men were drafted in 2009, with Ponich being called 48th overall and Shattock coming 108th overall. It’s not rare that two picks don’t pan out, but it is surprising to see two fairly high picks completely crash out of the system. Ponich was supposed to be the next big defenseman, but his skating left a lot to be desired. Shattock was supposed to be a sizable forward, but he produced just 32 points in his last 123 AHL games.
By qualifying the five men above, the Blues buy time in order to address potential free agents. A lot of names have been thrown out there (Paul Stastny), so it’ll be interesting to see how the team manages all of their upcoming contracts.