The Blues have pulled themselves back into the hunt for a playoff spot in the West and accordingly, the talk of them being significant sellers by the trade deadline has slowed. In a reader chat, Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch indicated that GM Doug Armstrong’s preference at this time is to make more of a player for player swap instead of trying to add more prospects. While those moves can certainly happen at this time of year, they’re more prevalent closer to the draft so if the Blues are looking to really shake up their roster once again, that may be the more likely time for that to happen. In the meantime, the team will need to decide on what to do with rentals Jay Bouwmeester, Carl Gunnarsson, and Patrick Maroon who aren’t likely to return next season.
Elsewhere around the Central:
- While the Wild have added a pair of defensemen recently, don’t expect it to be a precursor to a trade where they move one out. Speaking with Michael Russo of The Athletic (subscription required), GM Paul Fenton noted that the additions of Brad Hunt via trade and Anthony Bitetto from waivers were simply to add some depth leading up to the trade deadline. While Minnesota is now carrying eight blueliners, Fenton stated that he is comfortable doing so even though it is preventing them from recalling one of center Joel Eriksson Ek or winger Luke Kunin following their bye week demotions.
- While the Stars are holding onto a playoff spot for the time being, team owner Tom Gaglardi told Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he expects GM Jim Nill to bring in some scoring depth over the next three weeks. Dallas sits 29th in the league in scoring ahead of only Anaheim and Los Angeles and don’t have anyone outside of their top line in double digits when it comes to goals. Recent moves have pushed the team into using LTIR but with Stephen Johns unlikely to play this season, he can also be transferred there to free up some extra cap space to try to add an impact scorer.