The 2016 trade deadline has come and gone and the St. Louis Blues have remained unchanged. While general manager Doug Armstrong electing not to move any pieces may seem like a good thing in some ways, it could also be a sign of confusion.
Teams generally fall into one of two categories come trade deadline: buyers or sellers. St. Louis, however, falls into the unique position of neither and while that may be a sign of confidence in the roster, it could also mean the right trade wasn’t available.
The Blues are a good hockey team and currently find themselves in a three-way tie for the Central Division lead with 83 points. St. Louis has played one more game than the Dallas Stars and two more than the Chicago Blackhawks, but their shot at the title is still very much possible.
With that said, it might have been a safe plan for Armstrong to avoid trades that will ultimately come into play for the 2016 playoffs. If not dealing players or picks at the deadline is a sign that the Blues are content with their current make-up and confident of their ability to make a serious playoff run, it’s definitely a good thing.
If their lack of activity is because they couldn’t find the missing piece to a championship team, it could be bad for the team’s overall success.
Rental players are a mainstay of trade deadlines because they can offer help to teams making a serious playoff push. Trading for rental players, that may or may not be re-signed for the next year, is evidence of an all in, win now mentality.
While the Blues may certainly have this idea in mind, their timidness with regards to acquiring the right rental is concerning.
St. Louis also currently has eleven players with contracts expiring at the end of the season and all of them still call St. Louis home. Either they’re in the process of working on new contracts with those players and there’s near certainty of their extensions, or the Blues are willing to take the risk of losing them for nothing.
That risk will either work out or become a regret after the post-season, depending upon how the Blues do. If they win a cup or even make it to the finals, losing players isn’t as big of a loss. If they’re eliminated early, though, it could be a source of frustration moving forward.
Time Will Tell
There’s still a few weeks left in the regular season and the Blues have been able to climb back into serious contention for the division lead. That’s a testament to how well this team can play and it could certainly be a sign of what’s to come.
As for making no trades at the deadline, St. Louis has to trust in the skills and abilities of the players in the locker room right now to find the confidence to win. The regular season may be coming to an end, but the new beast of the playoffs is right around the corner and that’s what should be in the back of St. Louis’ mind.
What do you think about the Blues not making trades at the deadline? Leave your thoughts in the comments.