The St. Louis Blues will return a large portion of their roster from 2013-14 in 2014-15. With the goaltending decision made, the Blues have a couple of very important areas to address this summer. One is help offensively and the other involves beefing up the defense.
Here’s what TSN says the Blues need to do this summer:
Two top nine forwards, depth forwards, depth defence, backup goaltender.
That’s an interesting list, though there’s a few points I personally don’t agree with. For instance, the Blues are usually rich when it comes to depth on the third and fourth line, so no need for additional depth forwards. Chris Porter, Ryan Reaves, Max Lapierre and Joakim Lindstrom are already in the mix, so adding even more grit doesn’t really make sense unless it’s for the Chicago Wolves.
As for two top-9 forwards, the team really would benefit from one top-6 forward. No debate on the need for a new option at defense, but the backup goaltender remark is curious. The Blues have Brian Elliott and Jake Allen signed, so there’s really no need for anyone else. A third option would land in the AHL and wouldn’t see a whiff of the NHL unless there were serious injuries.
In terms of players which could be traded, TSN mentions Patrik Berglund, Magnus Paajarvi, Jordan Leopold and Ian Cole. No shocker seeing Berglund mentioned as it’s pretty unlikely he’ll be back after a lackluster campaign, but Paajarvi? He really rounded into form late in the year and given his low price ($1.2 million), it seems unlikely he’ll be dealt after just one season in St. Louis. He’s one of the more underrated options on the roster. Should the Blues part with Porter for one reason or another, Paajarvi would be the lone source of speed. Leopold and Cole are realistic trade pieces if the Blues elect to add a bit more size defensively.
Here’s what TSN said the Blues needed to do heading into 2013-14:
One top six forward, depth forwards, depth defenceman.
The top-6 forward never was addressed, was it? Again, it’s as if TSN has no idea the Blues have a lot of grinders and third/fourth line players.