The St. Louis Blues have popped up in a ton of trade rumors over the last few weeks, but to date the organization hasn’t made any major deals. The Blues have been connected to the trade talk surrounding Tampa Bay’s Jonathan Drouin, while Kevin Shattenkirk and Robby Fabbri have been rumored to be on their way out of St. Louis. With all of the smoke, where’s the fire? Injuries may be delaying a potential deal involving the Blues.
Just as the trade talk seemed to be intensifying, the Blues saw several players go down with injuries. GM Doug Armstrong commented that it’s been difficult to orchestrate or discuss any potential moves when so many players are banged up.
Via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
“It’s easier to trade when you know what you have. Right now it’s very difficult to tell with six and seven guys out, what you need, because you’re just treading water. I’m going to let the team evolve when it gets back. Hopefully we just get down to maybe just one or two guys out a few weeks before the trade deadline, so we’ll have a good look.”
Aside from minor injuries which have sidelined Jay Bouwmeester and Carl Gunnarsson, more significant injuries have been seen throughout the roster. Jaden Schwartz has only skated in seven games this season while other players (Magnus Paajarvi, Steve Ott, Jake Allen, Dmitrij Jaskin) are all dealing with various ailments.
“It’s difficult to trade because there’s not many teams that believe they can’t take a big push and get into the playoffs. So you haven’t had the buyer-seller thing yet. There are hockey trades going on, but some of these things take weeks or months to put together.
If we’re going to make changes, it’ll probably be a hockey trade. I don’t see it being a veteran player coming in and a young player going out or a young player coming and a veteran going out. We’re not in the ‘sell or buy’ mode, we’re in the ‘play for now’ mode. I like our depth, I like our group, we’ll see how it plays out.”
Armstrong also spoke more specifically about Drouin and how a potential deal would mean relying heavily on his scouting team. Drouin is widely believed to be a star in the making, but there are no guarantees. Trading a player like Robby Fabbri – an asset who is one the rise – for one like Drouin could be a coin flip.
The Blues are still weighing their options and may still make a major trade, but their rash of bad injuries may pour some water on the trade rumor flames.