Yesterday news broke that St. Louis Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong is listening in on all Blues players, including some big names like Vlad Tarasenko. Apparently the Blues were in on William Nylander and dangling Alex Pietrangelo to grab him. Naturally, there could be some interesting names that make a good fit for the Rangers.
The hard part about making a trade with St. Louis is that it looks like they are ready to tear it all down. The Rangers are one year ahead of them in that regard, but they are both likely going to be looking for the same thing. That is, young prospects and/or draft picks. So it will be a little difficult to see these two teams matching up on trades. However crazier things have happened.
From St. Louis, the first target on my list would be Colton Parayko. Parayko is a 1RD and a very good one at that. He’s got another three years on his deal at $5.5 million. The kicker is that he’s only 25 years old. He’s no veteran that would be used to fill out a roster. He’s another rock that can get that blue line up and running. He may also help jumpstart Brady Skjei.
Paraykos has three 35 point seasons under his belt, though this year he is on pace to fall short. Honestly, if there’s any target on the Blues worth while in this scenario, and worth giving a prospect up for, it’s Parayko. The problem though will be cost, as it’s going to cost a good prospect and a 1st round pick (and probably more). Since the Rangers will have a lottery pick this year, giving up their first this year is a big no-no. One of the firsts they get for Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello though, those could be in play.
That of course brings up timing. The Rangers don’t have those picks yet. They won’t until the trade deadline (assuming they move one or both). That means this is a deal that can be made leading up to the draft. The Blues don’t have their first rounder (Ryan O’Reilly trade), so they will definitely be looking for one.
Looking at the rest of the roster, there aren’t many other players I would want at this time. Tarasenko is always a want, but the price to acquire him would gut the rebuild, and thus isn’t worth it. The rest of the team, save for Ryan O’Reilly, are solid players, but would add more redundancy to the Rangers as ideal second line players. The timing just isn’t right for them.
In the grand scheme of things, I don’t see the Rangers hooking up for a deal, even for Parayko. The Blueshirts won’t give up the prospects and picks that the Blues would be looking for.
That said, I think this is just posturing by Armstrong. I can see the Blues parting with expiring contracts (Patrick Maroon, Jay Bouwmeester, Robert Bortuzzo, Carl Gunnarsson). But I don’t see them doing a complete gut job. Maybe they part ways with big names with two years left (Pietrangelo, Brayden Schenn). This doesn’t look like a match for the Rangers. But hey, it will be fun to watch.