Could St. Louis be a trade match for the Rangers?

July 9, 2017, by

nick holden

One of the last holes the Rangers need to fill is a top-six center, and with the free agent market bare, a trade is the next best option. As the offseason progresses, it becomes easier to identify trade partners for the Rangers to address this issue. Jeff Gorton also needs to address the logjam on the blue line, possibly leveraging the monster offensive season from Nick Holden.

Looking through the rosters, the St. Louis Blues seem to have the opposite problem. With 15 forwards –14 if you don’t include Klim Kostin, their first rounder this year)– and just five defensemen signed, there’s a potential match with the Rangers.

One of the potential targets could be Paul Stastny. A top-six center, Stastny has one year left on his contract at a $7 million cap hit. The 31-year-old is due $7.5 million in salary, and while that may not seem like much of a difference, it might to a budget team like St. Louis. With long-term deals in place for Alex Steen, Patrik Berglund, and the recently acquired Brayden Schenn, Stastny may be a luxury for the Blues that can help them address their blue line. Plus they need to find more top-six time for Robby Fabbri.

For the Blues, their blue line only has a pair of left handed defensemen (Gunnarsson, Edmundson), and neither are really that good. Holden could be viewed as an upgrade to both. In terms of raw salary, it would be a savings of close to $6 million. Some salary would need to be retained on Stastny to make the money work, but there’s a framework there that could be an interesting swap.

Of course one of Steen or Berglund could be a target as St. Louis attempts to free up salary in the long term. It’s a route that Gorton could take, and it would certainly address some of the concerns about a top-six center . In this scenario, I’d prefer Berglund because he has better peripherals than Steen and comes at a much smaller cap hit. He could feasibly handle some of the tougher minutes, freeing up Mika Zibanejad.

I’m not overly sold on Steen, who is already 33 and has four years left on his deal at $5.75 million. Berglund, on the other hand, is 29, but has five years remaining at $3.85 million.

Ideally the Rangers unload Marc Staal in any kind of trade, but let’s assume that isn’t doable. Leveraging the 11-goal and 34-point season from Holden is the only real option.

St. Louis appears to be a good trade partner for the Blueshirts as they look to round out their roster. The pieces for a framework match, and it would be a matter of balancing out the trade and money. Personally I’d prefer Stastny, then Berglund. But as for what Gorton’s up to is anyone’s guess.

"Could St. Louis be a trade match for the Rangers?", 5 out of 5 based on 22 ratings.
Categories : Offseason


  1. Spozo says:

    Stastny hasn’t topped 50 points in the last 3 years. With how Stepan was regarded at less money I’m sure the fanbase would welcome him with open arms!

    • mintgecko says:

      This is pointless speculation for all the insecure Stepan fans. Mika is the 1c and Hayes is going to get the 2c spot in his contract year because the club is high on him and AV probably has a little something to do with that.

    • Two guns says:

      One of the blues top D prospects will fill out the top 6…..jake Wallman, Vince Dunn, Jordan schmalts, keep Holden, I would take a bag of pucks and three sticks for bergland, he was decent last yr cause contract was up, and now injured, not worth contract.

  2. Bloomer says:

    Berglund was just signed he is part of the Blues longterm plan as is Schenn and Fabbri.
    Steen can still bring it despite his age. It would take more then Holden to land him. Stastny is a player in decline who comes with a huge cap hit. The Blues will likely wait untill the trade deadline to move him. The leafs are also flushed with forwards and looking for a dman. I can see Holden going there.

    • Walt says:

      Agree, they could use an experienced defensman who can play both sides, and contribute with some scoring. Paul Stastny is indeed in decline, and should not be considered. I bet the team makes no moves until camp begins to see if the Andersson kid is a keeper before they trade for anyone!!!


        How’s about Staal, a 2nd, and [prospect, Graves would do] for Statsny…?

        Think that would get it done?

        Solves a problem for both teams…. (more so for us than them)


          i guess you guys are rather fond of the length of Staal’s contract….

          Good to know.

        • Walt says:


          You couldn’t pay any team enough to take that crap, Staal, off of our hands. The best case scenario is Staal goes LTIR, he gets his money, we get cap relief!!!!!!!!


            Sure we could…. theoretically, lol


            Although, I must say, you have a good point; a 2nd & Graves probably isn’t even close to being enough, even if we take back Stastny…

          • Sully 55t says:

            That’s what I’m hoping and it a real possibility
            He’s had multiple concussions and always leaves himself vulnerable

  3. Take profit says:

    I would cry if we acquired Steens contract

  4. Chris F says:

    Steen’s last four seasons have been the most productive of his career. But that contract is a rough one to take on.

  5. Chris F says:

    I could go for Kadri or Bozak.

    In Austin Matthews, William Nylander, and Mitch Marner the Leafs have 3 young centers that they want to move forward with as their core. Kadri or Bozak would add in the steady, veteran calm, but they could afford to lose either and still have 4 solid centers.

    Kadri is signed to a reasonable $4.5 million, but he’s got something like 5 years remaining. Bozak has a year left at $4.2 million.

    I doubt Holden gets it done, but add in a 2nd rounder and maybe a small sweetener and this could definitely be a possibility.


      I highly doubt, especially after the season he just had, that the Leafs let Kadri go for just Holden…. we’d probably have to add quite a bit to make them consider trading him.

      Bozak, maybe they’d do that, I don’t know.

      • Chris F says:

        They don’t really have any needs at forward and actually have a logjam at center. They’re looking for defensemen, and Babcock mentioned Kadri, Bozak, Van Riemsdyk, and Kamarov as guys that could be on the move.

        Holden had a great year offensively, and is a mobile, puck moving defenseman on a relatively cheap contract. If you don’t watch him every day and don’t have some of those egregious mistakes burned into your memory, I think his trade value might be higher than Rangers fans think.

        Obviously I don’t think he alone gets it done. But add a 2nd rounder and even a mid-tier prospect and I’m sure a conversation could be had.

        • Chris F says:

          Remember they also have Marleau, who can easily plug in as center in the event of an injury. Their most luxurious asset right now is at center. Give to get. They have a need.


            True, but given that Kadri just came off a career year (& is signed to a decent cap hit for term), I just have a suspicion that they won’t take anything less than, say, a 1st round pick in addition to what we’d be willing to part with.

            That and, considering he’s not old, I think he may be out of our price range.

        • Reenavipul says:

          Marleau hasn’t played much C since Seattle, but the bigger problem for Toronto is that their roster is a mess.

          They have 24 players under contract with Connor Brown a RFA. They have 2 guys to put on LTIR, but they can’t do that until after the start of the season so that’s 2 more players who have to pass through waivers. They’re also only $3.5mm under the offseason cap so come October 1st they have to juggle a ton of contracts to get cap compliant, yet can’t use the LTIR exemption until game 1. So around $4.5 has to come off the books.

          Bozak as a gap filler that you can flip later on if he becomes redundant works for the Rangers.

          I threw Stasny’s name around a couple of days ago, but cap credits go away and you’d have to give him a sheltered role to maximize production.

          Ty Rattie might be a bottom 6 winger to take a flier on. Have to bulk him up, though.

      • Walt says:


        Agree, and he plays only one season for us, giving the kid some time to develop, Andersson is the one I’m thinking of???????????

    • Peter says:

      I like Chris’ speculations regarding Toronto. I would much prefer the Rangers trying to snatch a younger center than the trade speculations in Dave’s article today. Kadri would be a remarkable acquisition though it is certain that it will take more than only Nick Holden. Bozak is 30, but unlike Stasny is not showing a decline. I could live with his age even though I prefer the Rangers shed older players and aggressively build for the future.

      That all being said, it may be that the Rangers plan on Zibanejad, Hayes, Miller and Andersson as their center lineup, with DeSharnais as their insurance. In that case they may be seeking a winger instead.

      That would be a very forward thinking strategy with a lot of risk inherent in it because that young group has never been asked to handle so much responsibility yet in their careers. If they go that route, and Gorton has said that they see Miller as a center, then they are all in to build and not in it to win now.

      The Stepan trade, and passing on the old man centers like Thornton, have me believing that Gorton may be changing the Rangers’ approach toward roster management and we won’t see them picking up older players at center. We’ll see.


        “The Stepan trade, and passing on the old man centers like Thornton, have me believing that Gorton may be changing the Rangers’ approach toward roster management and we won’t see them picking up older players at center. We’ll see.”


        I would agree if (assuming Brooks etc are all correct) they weren’t, until Shatty came to them basically begging to play for the team, attempting to sign one or both of Thornton/Marleau.

        That is, while they do of course want to get younger, they probably aren’t vehemently against acquiring an older player.

  6. Peter says:

    Looking at what Toronto has, and how they played last season, that club is going to be a beast and a force to contend with for a long time. Excellent coach too.

    • Walt says:


      Their coach is a winner, proven both with the Ducks, and Wings. Mark my words the Leafs are going to give the entire NHL a run for their money within three years, if not less.

    • Jerry says:

      Their whole management staff are proven winners.
      Less than three years Walt.

  7. Eugene says:

    The only guy who would make up our problems would be Tyler Bozak (there is also option like…… Braisaitl) but rest of it doesn’t have much sense… better JT plays in the center

  8. Zac Polk says:

    I have to politely disagree with all of this. Blues have Petro and bouwmeester, Edmondson and parayko, gunnarson and bortuzzo and a stack of young guys to be our 7th. They aren’t looking for a dman, they are still looking for a top center. I don’t know where your info comes from, to be honest. I think it’s way off base and not very well thought out.

  9. Sancho says:

    “Edmundson is not that good!” How long you been smokin crack? It’s making you dilusional. Did you see a single playoff game? Ask any GM in the league if they would take Edmundson as a 4th or 5th shutdown defenceman? He’s only in his second year and the Blues don’t have any plans to break up him and Parayko. The Blues are loaded with young defenceman who are coming of age: Walman, Dunn, Schmaltz, Lindbohm. Get a clue!

  10. upstatetom says:

    stay away from all three !!!! please !!!

  11. MrBibbs316 says:

    I see all the upside for the Rangers and Jack squat for the Blues it would be a lose, lose situation for the Note. The Blues to this day haven’t recovered from the Mike Keenan fire sale, that sent a lot of talent to the Rangers with no return. Then Keenan just happened to get hired by the Rangers the next year. Mike Keenan always has been and always will be pond scum.

    • John B says:

      They haven’t recovered from sending Petr Nedved to us? And Keenan left the Rangers went to the Blues then Vancouver. Not exactly following your logic/thought process here. Do you have this confused with someone else?

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:


      You got this totally wrong. Keenan came to the Rangers from the Hawks after he wore out his welcome there. He then signed with the Blues in violation of his contract, and Bettman, Rangers management and Blues management brokered a deal that allowed Keenan to go in return for Nedved (other pieces were involved too).

      As for Keenan being “pond scum”, there are those who would agree with you. In the reporting I was privy to back in the day, there is little doubt that Keenan, brilliant as he was a bench coach, had little if any ability to work with his superiors, made enemies easily, and wore out his welcome pretty much everywhere he went. It’s sad because the guy should have been a HOF coach. Instead, there will always be an asterisk around his accomplishments.

  12. Richter1994 says:

    Bozak, get it done. Holden plus picks.

  13. amy says:

    i would love the rangers to get Statsny from St. Louis and use him as a number 2 center with Nash and Kreider this team would be a contender.

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      I’m in your camp Amy. He’s my choice from the Blues, given he only has 1 year left on his deal. Contract aside, Steen would be my guy…. but we know that isn’t the case. If we’re trading Holden +, then target Stasny and let him / Nash / other winger face the opponent’s tough competition.

      If somehow we could build a package around Staal, then Steen or Berglund become options to consider.

      Nice read Dave, hadn’t previously thought much about NYR/STL compatibility.

  14. amy says:

    It would be great to add a talent like Stasny and it seems him and Kevin would know each other and the comfort level would be there

  15. Walt says:

    The Lightning Get: D Dan Girardi
    Girardi, 33, has been a shot-blocking defensive defenceman and had put on a lot of miles while a member of the New York Rangers before getting bought out.
    He’s been outshot consistently throughout his career, but played tough matchups for a long time. His role decreased with the Rangers last season, playing under 20 minutes per game for the first time since his rookie season of 2006-2007.
    It’s possible that a strong Tampa Bay team can lift Girardi, but it would be ill-advised to have Girardi in a top four role. He may not be – he could be the third right-side defenceman behind Anton Stralman and Jake Dotchin – but it will be fascinating to see if his possession woes can somehow be corrected. Easing the level of competition is a starting point.
    Verdict: Girardi has been getting buried in terms of shots for years, so it’s hard to imagine that he’s going to have a positive effect in Tampa Bay, making that price too much.

    Scott Cullen
    TSN.ca Analytics

    I find this to be a fascinating read, bottom line, he’s not worth the deal for those who still think Danny boys was good!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Andy says:

    I think we may have a better fit with The Jets. They are stacked on the right but less so on the left side. Holden for Andrew Copp or Adam Lowry may be a pretty good fit also. They might also want to kick some tires on Joe Colborne and send Holden back to the Av’s…lots of options, just a matter of finding the one that works. Colborne had an off season with a terrible team. But not so sure we need are going to find a #1 center at this point. Think Mika needs to get the shot to be #1. The rest should be up for grabs.

  17. kevin mccarthy says:

    bring in mike fisher on a sort term deal hold Holden as a chip for later 7th D