buy or stand pat?

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buy or stand pat?

Postby flyingnote38 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:02 pm

As rumors swirl that the Blues want to give Halak a $2 million pay raise for the remainder of the season, oops I mean trade for Ryan Miller which would seem to be about the same thing. Should the Blues be buyers or stand pat? At critical junctures in their past, when regular season success brought hopes for playoff success, more often than not it seems they made the wrong choice at the deadline.

In 1991, 105 points in regular season, the Blues felt the need for a physical presence on D and dealt Courtnall, Momesso, Ronning, Dirk, and a 5th round pick for Quinn and Butcher. Deal nearly won a Cup ...for Vancouver.

In 1996,in a relatively mediocre regular season 80pts in 82 games, added Gretzky for a bunch of bodies and a #1 pick. They then made a bunch more deals, mostly insignificant, with the best move arguably being claiming Glenn Anderson off waivers. A second round exit and the great one's curse followed.

In 2000, the 114 point team 'earned the right' to enter the playoffs intact then fell in the first round.

In 2001, 103 points and 2 big deadline deals: Conroy and a 7th for Stillman & Nagy, Handzus, Taffe and a 1st for Tkachuk. It paid immediate dividends with the only conference finals berth in the past 25 years. In the long run, I think most Blues fans would take that Stillman deal back.

In 2003, Mike Van Ryn netted Valeri Bure and a 5th. Papineau and a 2nd got us Osgood and a 3rd. And a memorable deadline special broadcast of the elation in the Red Wings locker room when they heard the Blues had passed on Sean Burke in favor of Osgood. To rub more salt in the wound, they then reacquired Osgood and won the Cup with him in goal a few years later.

The 2011 "sell" Johnson, McClement and a 1st for Stewart, Shattenkirk and a 2nd looks pretty good as does the 2013 'buy' of Bouwmeester for Cundari, Berra and a 1st.

So.............back to what to do at this year's deadline. One scenario has a 3 team trade with the Blues getting Miller, the Sabres getting Allen among other things and the Wild getting Halak. This, if it went down, would be a "high profile move" for the Blues' GM to make. If the playoffs started today, the Blues' first round opponent would be......the Wild. A first round exit in this scenario gets you fired; a win merely gets you an ulcer and an offseason that starts with no NHL ready goalies in the system. I'd be inclined to stick with Halak and make a move on offense, but no matter what you do in goal, unless the Blues have a successful playoffs, there will be second guessing.

On offense, I'd like to see the Blues move Stewart to acquire a more consistently reliable asset. Stewart on one of his hot streaks in the playoffs would be awesome; Stewart on a cold streak provides no value whatsoever. Ryan Callahan? Ryan Kesler? Not sure who is available but a 1st or 2nd line center would be a big addition.
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Re: buy or stand pat?

Postby Oaklandblue » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:57 pm

I'd use the opportunity to fine-tune the team.

Players that don't work in Hitch's system, ship them out for ones that will. Stewart is one of those, Berglund could be another, Cracknell, etc. Not go after any big names unless we're considering players like Callahan or Moulson as big names, but players that better help the efforts of our top players.

Trading Allen under any terms is ridiculous. He's the only goalie under contract (his is a one-way on top of that) and he has a bright future ahead of him.

Halak and Elliott? Right now, I could care less as long as we have someone consistant in goal. Right now, Elliott is our proven playoff goaltender, if we keep Halak, he can try and prove otherwise, but we're losing both at the end of the year and I could see us jettisoning both right now and run Miller/Allen and, with a few others sent along with them to whoever and wherever, use the return to load the team up front. Ridiculous? Absolutely, but it's a possibility. Allen's one-way contract next year has me wondering if they won't test him in net now to see where he is at, on the big stage and if he's improved since his last stint.
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Re: buy or stand pat?

Postby glen a richter » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:20 pm

I had a dream recently that Army made a trade with Pittsburgh. It wasn't a hugely significant deal, but it did land us a player who would have a positive impact on the rest of the season. The player was some guy who doesn't really exist, it was very unusual.

To answer the original question, I still think a lot of answers lie in Chicago. Why isn't Jaskin playing with the big boys every night? Why aren't they at least letting Allen serve as a backup to whichever goalie doesn't get traded? Why does it have to be Miller/Halak or Miller/Elliott? Why not Halak/Allen and trade Elliott in a package for a center? Or trade Halak, whichever. Why are they not doing addition by subtraction (Stewart, Berglund) like happened with trading Perron? The trade with Vancouver was colossally moronic and possibly cost this team a Cup, but given the players involved that was clearly subtraction by stupidity. This team can get better by removing the problem without making wholesale changes to the rest of the roster. I'd even take draft picks for Stewart, hell it's better than nothing which is what he's worth to this team during the 98% of the season that he's slumping.
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Re: buy or stand pat?

Postby not_a_wings_fan » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:53 pm

With the Salary Cap where it is, the number of teams in contention, and the state of things on the current roster, I see the Blues as a hybrid - both buying and selling.

I can see us moving valuable parts for other parts as well as unloading dead weight (looking at you, stewie).

My fear is that I don't want to see the team messed with too much in a short time span.

AS for the 2003 team, that was the flu that (Frank) us in the playoffs, not the trade or the team. We had guys getting IVs and puking in the tunnel ... after getting a 3-1 lead and pwning that series - VAN had a total of 4 goals in the series going into game 5, when the flu struck. Also notable was Al got his shoulder destroyed in the first game. That team was built to win a cup and never got it's shot due to poor luck.
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Re: buy or stand pat?

Postby dmiles2186 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:14 am

I wouldn't mind seeing the 'minor' deals, say, involving Stewart or even Berglund. I'm more in favor of a deal for Miller than I was, but it should not come a the expense of giving up Allen. Jake is our goalie of the future, no need to give that up for a half season rental.
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Re: buy or stand pat?

Postby gaijin » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:36 am

If there was only one aspect of the team I could choose to improve, it would be offense. Is Miller an upgrade over Halak or Elliott? Probably yes, but I don't see goaltending as a pressing NEED for this team. Whereas our last 5 games have been decided by one goal, and 4 of those went to OT or the SO. Improving the offense makes this team much stronger than improving the goaltending.

Of course, if you can do both...
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Re: buy or stand pat?

Postby gaijin » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:41 am

Rumor is Marty St. Louis might be available. I know a lot of people here have expressed interest over the years in seeing that name on a Blues sweater.
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Re: buy or stand pat?

Postby not_a_wings_fan » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:03 am

I am aware that we have scored lots of goals this year, but I think that total number is deceptive. I would really like to see some better top end snipers on this team from the standpoint that goals are much harder to produce in the playoffs and I don't trust our guys to get it done when it really counts (see last night's game for evidence).

A guy with several 30+ goal seasons would do wonders for our team, provided the cost isn't too steep.

Idk what Miller would have done last night that Halak didn't, but I know a couple of goals would have done wonders.
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Re: buy or stand pat?

Postby cardsfan04 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:01 am

I could go either way (that's what she said). Trades are exciting and I trust Doug Armstrong, so I kinda want to see something. But, we're in a really good spot right now. Miller with an extension makes sense to me if they don't want a zillion prospects/picks. St. Louis makes sense, again, depending on cost. There's a really fine line between doing too much a la 1991 Garth Butcher trade and getting the piece that puts you over the top.

I will say this about Miller though. While I don't think Halak/Elliott are a hole per se, I think Miller is more than a minor upgrade. Miller is having an incredible season on a REALLY bad team. He probably should be the front-runner for the Vezina right now. If we could acquire him for Halak + non-NHL talent, that takes the closest thing to a weakness that we have to the biggest strength in the NHL IMO, all without weakening any other part of our roster. I don't think it's a necessity, but I think it could be the piece that takes us over the top.
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Re: buy or stand pat?

Postby not_a_wings_fan » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:34 am

TSN shared a report from an Ottawa reporter that the Sens have interest in Stewart, and likely would be part of a 3-way trade with New York sending Callahan to STL and prospects/etc. to New York.

Not really an offensive upgrade, but a huge upgrade in overall effort.
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Re: buy or stand pat?

Postby not_a_wings_fan » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:35 am

Double post.
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Re: buy or stand pat?

Postby kodos » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:13 pm

Im fine with getting rid of Stewart for pretty much anything at all.

A 4th round pick? Sounds great. Bye! I know he has more value than that, but that's about how I feel at this point. I think he's a big anchor on this team that adds basically nothing.

Earlier I was pretty hesitant about making a big deal, but I think this team needs a bit of a shake-up.

A good offensive rental player sounds pretty good. (Callahan, Moulson) Maybe they'll like it here and resign.

I'm fine with Miller for the right price in players and if we think he'll resign here for a decent price. I do not want to give up much to get him though.
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Re: buy or stand pat?

Postby flyingnote38 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:23 pm

Miller is having an incredible season on a REALLY bad team. He probably should be the front-runner for the Vezina right now. If we could acquire him for Halak + non-NHL talent, that takes the closest thing to a weakness that we have to the biggest strength in the NHL IMO, all without weakening any other part of our roster.


Buffalo would have no interest in a soon to be UFA goalie. As a starting point, they are probably asking for Allen, Schwartz and a 1st, hoping to get, say, Allen, Jaskin and a 1st.

I'd say Bernier is the front runner (solely because he plays for the Leafs) with Rask or Ben Bishop the most deserving of the Vezina. Or Lack if he could just figure out how to get to play the Blues every night.

Over their careers, there is little to suggest Miller is significantly better than Halak. Their career save percentages and gaas are about the same and Halak's playoff numbers are actually a little better.

Not sure if this is 'documented' to be true, but intuitively the same goalie playing for a good defensive team(especially one that blocks alot of shots) should have a better gaa and worse save percentage than that same goalie playing for a poor defensive team. Not sure how much significance to put on a difference of .917 vs .923 save percentage.

As for Miller's Vezina. That happened 4 years ago and when Miller was a year older than Halak is now. Plus, Miller's Sabres exited in the first round that year while Halak took the 8th seed Habs to the Conference finals.

Again, the long and short of it is, make a deal in goal or no, there better be success in the playoffs because the second guessing will start immediately if there isn't either way.
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Re: buy or stand pat?

Postby Oaklandblue » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:09 pm

flyingnote38 wrote:
Miller is having an incredible season on a REALLY bad team. He probably should be the front-runner for the Vezina right now. If we could acquire him for Halak + non-NHL talent, that takes the closest thing to a weakness that we have to the biggest strength in the NHL IMO, all without weakening any other part of our roster.


Buffalo would have no interest in a soon to be UFA goalie. As a starting point, they are probably asking for Allen, Schwartz and a 1st, hoping to get, say, Allen, Jaskin and a 1st.

I'd say Bernier is the front runner (solely because he plays for the Leafs) with Rask or Ben Bishop the most deserving of the Vezina. Or Lack if he could just figure out how to get to play the Blues every night.

Over their careers, there is little to suggest Miller is significantly better than Halak. Their career save percentages and gaas are about the same and Halak's playoff numbers are actually a little better.

Not sure if this is 'documented' to be true, but intuitively the same goalie playing for a good defensive team(especially one that blocks alot of shots) should have a better gaa and worse save percentage than that same goalie playing for a poor defensive team. Not sure how much significance to put on a difference of .917 vs .923 save percentage.

As for Miller's Vezina. That happened 4 years ago and when Miller was a year older than Halak is now. Plus, Miller's Sabres exited in the first round that year while Halak took the 8th seed Habs to the Conference finals.

Again, the long and short of it is, make a deal in goal or no, there better be success in the playoffs because the second guessing will start immediately if there isn't either way.


Buffalo is offering nothing more than a rental. They need to understand that. They're going to get, at best, a rental back and some minor, very minor pieces. They're at the point where they're going to have to give up more than Miller to get anything substantial back, otherwise there's no point, in my eyes.

Miller is going to sit there, wait til the end of the year and leave. The feeling I get is, if the issue was money, they'd have signed him. The issue isn't money. Miller wants a ring. And that won't happen in Buffalo.

Miller + Moulson + Ott would get the job done that they want to do. Anything less would, to be, be wasting their time or getting little back. Army is smart enough to know that Miller is the smallest piece of the prize and hold out until we get what we want and give what we feel is worth it.

I feel like Buffalo is going to screw around and get absolutely nothing for Miller.
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Re: buy or stand pat?

Postby flyingnote38 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:29 pm

Buffalo is offering nothing more than a rental. They need to understand that. They're going to get, at best, a rental back and some minor, very minor pieces.


In a logical world, this would be the case, but the deadline is anything but logical and bad teams peddling sought after 'rental' players often seem to land high draft picks and regarded prospects.


They're at the point where they're going to have to give up more than Miller to get anything substantial back, otherwise there's no point, in my eyes.


I would certainly agree with this. I don't see a point in dealing what we would have to give up to get Miller for the debatable upgrade he provides.
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Re: buy or stand pat?

Postby ViPeRx007 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:46 am

Obviously we don't NEED a huge shakeup, but there are definitely some areas we could improve on if the opportunities come along. That felt like a very John Maddenesque sentence, but it's true. I don't think we'll stand pat, but I don't think we'll be big spenders either. The biggest move I see possibly happening is for Miller. In a perfect world we'd nab another Steen or Sobotka for peanuts. I trust Army. He's made a lot of good moves in the past so I'm not too worried about it.
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Re: buy or stand pat?

Postby dmiles2186 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:10 am

flyingnote38 wrote:
Buffalo is offering nothing more than a rental. They need to understand that. They're going to get, at best, a rental back and some minor, very minor pieces.


In a logical world, this would be the case, but the deadline is anything but logical and bad teams peddling sought after 'rental' players often seem to land high draft picks and regarded prospects.


Exactly. Lest we forget the Blues getting first round picks for both Keith Tkachuk and Bill Guerin. The players they got were pretty subpar, but nonetheless, the Blues were asking a lot of over the hill rental players.
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Re: buy or stand pat?

Postby cardsfan04 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:17 pm

I wouldn't include either Allen or Jaskin for Miller. If that's what they want, no thanks. But, I don't think either will be necessary to get him. The rumored deal was Halak + Rattie + a pick, but Army wouldn't deal Rattie without an extension in place. Something along those lines makes some sense to me.

I know they aren't going to just give him away. If their GM is any good, they will end up with the better of the deal (unless Miller wins a Cup this year wherever he goes) as there will be multiple teams bidding on Miller, but not multiple teams bidding on, say, the Blues' first round pick next year or Rattie, etc. Buffalo gets to drive teams into a bidding war and not vice versa. But, I don't think any team is going to give up both of their top 2 prospects for a rental. The bidding shouldn't get that high IMO. If it does, I trust that Army will be out.
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Re: buy or stand pat?

Postby cardsfan04 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:40 pm

This is interesting. Miller and Ott were both scratched from Buffalo's lineup tonight. Could just be injury prevention, or it could mean there is a deal imminent.
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