Dear Santa: Blues Wish List for 2023

Dear Santa,

The St. Louis Blues have been a real mystery this season. The year started off with several injuries to their defensemen, and though things started off really well, they went sideways in a hurry. But more on that later. 

With a little more than one week left until Christmas, there still seems to be plenty of time to ask for a few last-minute things. Some teams may wish for a particular player like David Pastrnak, Pierre-Luc Dubois, or Jesper Bratt to be traded to their team. Other teams may wish for a shiny new head coach or a new general manager to turn their team around. This year, it seems like the Blues may have a little bit of a bigger picture in mind when it comes to the Wish List. 

Anyway, here are a few things that the Blues could certainly use as the calendar turns to 2023.

Blues Need Consistency

Not to sound like a Grinch here, Santa, but this whole streaky and inconsistency thing is getting out of hand! The Blues started the year 3-0 before losing eight straight games in regulation (from ‘The Blues’ record-setting eight-loss slump defies logic. What’s the way out?,’ St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Nov. 9, 2022). It was a franchise record! I don’t know how much you care about team records, but the most consecutive losses in regulation is not one you want to be associated with. Just when fans seemed to lose all hope and were ready to abandon ship on the team, they broke their losing streak and won seven games in a row. As of this writing, the Blues are still near the bottom of the league in standings and special teams. Consistency for the team would be nice so that fans and general manager Doug Armstrong can figure out the direction of the team. 

Contract Resolution

The next thing on the Wish List is contract resolution. If you haven’t paid attention to the team’s contract situation lately, the Blues have several key players on their roster — like Vladimir Tarasenko, Ryan O’Reilly, and Ivan Barbashev — in the final years of their contracts. After losing a few fan favorites over the past few years, having some resolution regarding some of these players would be nice. 

Vladimir Tarasenko St. Louis Blues
Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

While the salary cap likely won’t go up enough to re-sign all three of these players, it would be nice if the team could somehow make the money work and bring back at least one player. O’Reilly is having a down season, but he’s begun to find his offensive game here lately, scoring four goals and seven points in 10 games. Tarasenko is another player that is starting to find his offensive flair, also scoring four goals and eight points in 10 games. Fans would love it if they could know what to expect once the trade deadline comes and this coming offseason, as these players are really loved by the fans. 

Blues Players to Rebound

Not to get too picky here, Santa, but some players this season have been a little inconsistent on the score sheet. After having nine skaters score at least 20 goals last year, they’re only projected to have five players do the same thing this year. There were a few players, like Pavel Buchnevich and Ivan Barbashev, that had career years last season, and it would be great if you could somehow help them find their scoring touch once more.

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A few players on the back end could be looking to rebound as well. The Blues’ defense has had its fair share of problems this year, resulting in too many goals to go in their net. It is unclear if their issues are from lacking confidence or what it is, but a confidence boost would be nice right about now. Those who were watching last season saw what the team is capable of, and it seems like they just need a push in the right direction.

Another First-Round Draft Pick

Santa, the Blues have several players on their roster that could be hitting free agency once the season is over. While the Blues currently have their first-round pick in the coming 2023 Entry Draft, it would be nice if they could add at least one more to help with their prospect pool.

Right now, they have some pretty good prospects, like Zachary Bolduc and Jake Neighbours, but it sure would be nice to add more first-round talent. If the team ends up losing some of their big-name players after this season, it sure would be nice to have some compensation. This coming draft is supposed to have quite a few good players in it, and it would be great if they could have just one more first-round draft pick to their collection. 

A Second Stanley Cup for the Blues

It may not be fair to ask for more of something when there are others out there who have not gotten one at all, but another Stanley Cup would sure be nice. Blues fans waited over 50 years to get their first championship and a parade down Market Street. If the team could get a second one, that would be swell.

Thank you so much for reading this letter, Santa. Try not to eat too much milk and cookies or run over any grandmas this year.

Merry Christmas!

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