The St. Louis Blues have an abundance of defensemen. However, Jaccob Salvin could give the Blues a controllable young player on an aging blue line.
If the St. Louis Blues were to acquire Jaccob Slavin from the Carolina Hurricanes, it would likely cost an arm and a leg. However, the Blues could possibly persuade the Hurricanes to make a deal that would make both sides happy.
St. Louis doesn’t need a defenseman for the upcoming season, though with some of the ages of the current Blues defenders like Jay Bouwmeester (35) and Carl Gunnarsson (32), Doug Armstrong could be solidifying the Blues core for years to come.
At the end of the season, the Blues will have three unrestricted free agents. Alex Pietrangelo, Bouwmeester, and Joel Edmundson will all hit the open market unless they are extended during the year.
At age 35, this is probably the last season we will see Bouwmeester in a Blues sweater. Even if he has a great year and is consistent throughout the regular season, St. Louis has some young players ready to make an impact.
Edmundson seemed to be on the outside looking in on the Blues roster in the offseason. He was one of the last free agents to sign but that had more of an indication of the lack of cap space than anything with his play.
Pietrangelo is one of the most critical players facing free agency that Armstrong will need to handle with urgency. It will be hard to retain both Brayden Schenn and Pietrangelo, which makes a potential trade for Slavin more intriguing.
Slavin is signed for a cap hit of $5.3 million and is under contract until the end of the 2024-25 season. The cap hit he currently holds may seem significant, though you should consider how small that number will look in five years compared to other defensemen around the league.
The Hurricanes drafted Slavin in the fourth round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and made his debut three years later during the 2015-16 season. In his rookie year, Slavin played extremely well.
The youngster played in 63 regular-season games for Carolina, netting two goals and adding 18 assists en route to a 20-point season.
In the three years since his rookie campaign, Slavin has reached the 30-point threshold every year. Slavin earned a career-high 34 points during the 2016-17 season and has continued his solid play.
Last season for the Hurricanes, the 25-year-old Denver native played in all 82 games for the third consecutive season and tallied eight goals and 23 assists. Slavin also netted 11 assists in 15 postseason games for the Hurricanes last season.
He is the textbook first pairing defenseman that could bring the Blues to an entirely new level. The left-handed shot could bring a new element of play to a potential pairing with Pietrangelo or Colton Parayko.
Acquiring Slavin seems all good and fun however, he is going to cost a lot. Lucky for the Blues, they have what the Hurricanes don’t. Goaltending, and yes, that means trading Jake Allen.
The Canes will enter the season with James Reimer and Petr Mrazek between the pipes. While both played well at for the Hurricanes last season, Allen could be considered an upgrade considering his past.
No matter how much complaining you hear from Blues nation, Allen has been a very good number one goaltender. Last season may have been an outlier in terms of his numbers, but after Jordan Binnington took over the starting job, Allen starting playing like his old self.
You’ll hear the saying “change of scenery” no matter what sport you’re following. However, we are going to use it here too. Trading Allen to a new city could reignite his career and do him some good, though Allen would only be a start to a potential package.
St. Louis will need to pony up a prospect too, and I’m looking at you, Jordan Kyrou. The Blues have a number of young forwards that are waiting for a roster opening to make an impact.
Kyrou had a rollercoaster season last year, making the team out of camp then to be sent down to San Antonio where he tore up the AHL, only to get hurt to end the year.
Kyrou is still regarded as one of the top prospects in the Blues’ system, but if you want to get a player like Slavin, it’s going to cost you some NHL ready players.
It’s doubtful that Carolina would trade Slavin for anyone, especially after reaching the Eastern Conference Finals. However, if the Blues came forward with Allen, Kyrou, and maybe a draft pick, I bet they pick up the phone.
Restricted free agent Ivan Barbashev agreed to terms with the St. Louis Blues on a two-year contract worth an annual average value of $1.475 million, the team announced Sunday.
Barbashev, 23, played in 80 games for the Blues in their Stanley Cup season of 2018-19, recording 14 goals and 12 assists for 26 points — all career highs.
The Russian center, the last remaining restricted free agent for the Blues to re-sign, added three goals and three assists in the playoffs as part of the Blues’ fourth line.