From nhl.com (prior to last night's win over Vancouver): https://www.nhl.com/news/nhl-trade-buzz-st-louis-facing-difficult-choices/c-286823844?tid=278542340
General manager Doug Armstrong will have some tough decisions to make.
St. Louis won its fifth straight game Wednesday, 2-0 at the Detroit Red Wings, and has won six of seven games (6-1-0) since Armstrong fired coach Ken Hitchcock on Feb. 1 and replaced him with Mike Yeo.
The Blues were two points out of a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and had lost five of six games (1-5-0) when the coaching change was made, but now are third in the Central Division with 65 points, five ahead of the top non-playoff team in the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Kings.
This puts Armstrong in a tricky deadline position for the second straight season.
Last season, Armstrong did nothing at the deadline with the Blues holding the fourth-best record in the NHL at the time, keeping impending unrestricted free agents David Backes and Troy Brouwer and also choosing not to add anyone to the roster.
The Blues advanced to the Western Conference Final but lost to the San Jose Sharks in six games.
On July 1, 2016, Backes signed with the Boston Bruins and Brouwer with the Calgary Flames, giving the Blues nothing in return for those assets.
This season, it's defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and center Patrik Berglund who can become unrestricted free agents July 1, and Armstrong is faced with a similar decision on what to do with them.
It has been considered a bit of a foregone conclusion that Shattenkirk will be traded. He enters Thursday tied for fifth among NHL defensemen with 39 points (11 goals, 28 assists) in 57 games and is in a five-way tie for first with 18 power-play points. Armstrong doesn't want to lose Shattenkirk for nothing if he is unable to re-sign him by July 1, but he also won't want to make many changes to his surging team.
The same dilemma exists with Berglund, though probably to a lesser extent. The 6-foot-4, 223-pound center joins Martin Hanzal (6-foot-6, 226 pounds) of the Arizona Coyotes as big, two-way centers with expiring contracts, the type of player most playoff-bound teams covet. But Berglund has come alive under Yeo with six goals in his past six games, including a hat trick in a 4-2 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.
Can Armstrong trade Shattenkirk, Berglund or both before the deadline and keep the Blues' playoff hopes alive?
They have five games remaining before the deadline, starting at home against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; SN, SN360, FS-MW, NHL.TV).
Doesn't say much we haven't already covered.
Even with this nice win streak we're on, I think it is best to trade both these guys.
Berglund's value has probably never been higher in his career, so we need to sell high. Like it has been said by others, he probably doesn't factor into the team's long-term plans (especially not with his salary balanced against his typical production). Easy call.
Shattenkirk is a tougher decision. Yes, it makes sense to trade him and get something in return before he walks for nothing in the offseason, but he is a big part of this team's current success, and I fear what happens to our style of play when he departs. At least he is continually raising his trade value with the way he has been playing (and the continual media hype of being a top trade target). So ideally the return we get for him will be high enough that it will ease the pain of losing his offensive presence on the blueline.