While there are some notable forwards that have a shot at moving between now and the March 3rd trade deadline, some teams looking for upgrades might instead be aiming for someone a little lower in the lineup. Those squads should be keeping tabs on the Blues as Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reports that the team has informed Ivan Barbashev that he won’t be re-signed for next season and they expect to trade in the next few weeks.
2021-22 was a breakout season for the 27-year-old. With his career highs being 14 goals, 15 assists, and 26 points (set over two years), he blew past those last year with 24 goals and 36 assists in 81 games, becoming a key part of their attack in the process.
However, Barbashev hasn’t been able to repeat those numbers this season. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering the jumps from a year ago. But what bodes well for St. Louis in a potential swap is that the forward is on pace to post numbers that could beat those career bests before last season. With 24 points in 51 games, he’s playing at a 39-point pace.
Barbashev is in the final season of his contract, one that has turned out to be quite a bargain at an AAV of $2.25MM. Assuming that St. Louis is willing to retain up to the maximum 50% ($1.125MM), that would drop him to a price point that many teams – even the really cap-strapped ones – should be able to afford.
In an ideal world, St. Louis probably wouldn’t mind keeping Barbashev around. However, their cap situation makes that idea basically impossible. The team has over $69MM committed to just a dozen players for next season per CapFriendly and they need to either re-sign or replace Vladimir Tarasenko and Ryan O’Reilly (replacing both seems to be the likeliest direction at this point) and fill out the rest of the roster. By the time they do that, they won’t be able to afford Barbashev on a market-value contract.
As a player that can play both center and the wing, kill penalties in a pinch, and contribute some secondary scoring in a middle-six role, Barbashev can fill a useful role on several teams. With what should be a fairly low price tag in terms of the impact on the salary cap, he’ll fit on the books of quite a few teams as well. Accordingly, while Tarasenko and O’Reilly might be the headline names, Barbashev is likely to have a strong trade market of his own in the coming weeks.
Trading Edmundson for Faulk and not recognizing Maroon’s importance to team chemistry, was the beginning of the end. I called that out when it happened. Armstrong got too far ahead of his skates trying to outsmart people.
Barbashev would be a nice fit for the Bruins or Capitals at the deadline.
I agree, the Caps might pick him up, if they can get him for cheap. They’ve saved their season with reclamation projects, like Strome, Milano and Erik Gustafsson. Without those guys, they wouldn’t be sniffing at a playoff spot (whether that’s a good or bad thing, depends on your point of view)
Probably won’t come cheap with a large market for his services. But if blues cover 50 percent of his salary , he could probably be had for a second rounder.
One question: WHY?
Adding Barbashev would be a nice move for Tampa.
To the VGK please.
CBJ should target him.