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St. Louis Blues

Blues Likely to Explore Trades For Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko

The St. Louis Blues are a mess and it appears both Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko could be trade bait before the deadline.

Any Blues fan can count the ways that things have gone sideways in St. Louis. From an embarrassing display of goaltending and behavior by Jordan Binnington to a number of losses after a winning streak with the team, there’s no telling exactly what the Blues are. Could they make the playoffs? Maybe. Will they compete? Who knows. Could they miss altogether? That seems extremely possible.

It appears Blues’ goaltender Jordan Binnington is in hot water based on his antics and the coach has had enough. Craig Berube said, “It’s got to stop,” after Saturday’s game in Pittsburgh where Binnington got a 10–minute misconduct for inciting. Berube added, “That doesn’t help anything. It doesn’t help anything. Just play goal. Stop the puck.”

But, a lack of saves isn’t the only issue in St. Louis. GM Doug Armstrong is looking at making changes to the roster because players who are expected to be contributors aren’t contributing. Among them, Ryan O’Reilly is having a lousy season compared to year’s past and Vladimir Tarsenko isn’t performing up to his typical dynamic levels.

Ryan O'Reilly Vladimir Tarasenko Blues trades
Ryan O’Reilly Vladimir Tarasenko Blues trades

Armstrong isn’t expected to change the coach, so that means the players are going to be the ones who go if anyone does. And, because both O’Reilly and Tarasenko are coming up to the end of their respective contracts, it makes a lot of sense that the team would look at moving one or both.

Internally, this is being seen as an issue with the players. Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic writes:

“I don’t have any knowledge of group discontent with Berube. …Armstrong has said Berube isn’t the problem, and I agree with him. Whether Armstrong thinks the same about the rest of the staff, I don’t know. The Blues have struggled defensively and on special teams, so perhaps changes could be made to the coaches who are in charge of those areas.”.

Meanwhile, Elliotte Friedman discussed the issues in St. Louis on the Jeff Marek show and noted, “O’Reilly’s at the end of the contract, I think they have a ton of respect for O’Reilly and for obvious reasons, I think there’s a limit on what they’re willing to do and I don’t get the sense the talks have progressed there very far at all”. He added, “Tarasenko is at the end of his contract, that marriage has been heading for splitsville anyway”.

Neither player will be easy to move. They both make $7.5 million on the cap and that’s not an easy chunk of change for any team to take on, even if salary is retained in the deal.

Next: Nathan MacKinnon Expected to “Miss Some Time” For Avalanche

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