Friedman on Blues: ‘They have a lot of hard decisions to make’

The St. Louis Blues could become one of the key players on the NHL trade market in January and February, if they choose to do so.

Elliotte Friedman had a Friday morning radio hit on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960, and was asked if things had “cooled down there at all” in terms of the Blues and potential roster upheaval.

“Look, it hasn’t been a good trip, right,” noted Friedman, alluding to the Blues’ 5-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks Thursday night. “And it’s tough. They show some life, and it doesn’t last. It’s a hard year there. I think I said it to you guys before, the toughest thing is just coming to grips with that this is what your year has turned out to be.

“They have a lot of hard decisions to make. I think they’re going to take their time and make them. But I don’t think you can be surprised with whatever’s coming out of there over the next two months.

“There’s a lot of good players there who, for whatever reason, it just hasn’t worked. There’s interest in their guys, there’s no question about that.”

Friedman was asked who was atop that list of guys that haven’t worked out.

“I’m not saying they haven’t worked out - the team hasn’t worked out,” clarified the Insider. “I think Pietrangelo, he’s got one more year to unrestricted free agency. Tarasenko, he’s got a no-trade list that kicks in July 1. I think Brayden Schenn, I think he’s a guy a lot of teams would really like to have, or could say, ‘That guy could help us.’

“I’m not convinced they’re going to trade Jaden Schwartz. I know that’s a player that they really like there and they’ve always thought he was an important key to how they win. I don’t see him going anywhere. I’d be surprised.

“And even Parayko. I mean, his name has constantly been in rumors since the draft.

“Guys, there’s a lot of possibilities there. Because they’ll get calls on all of those guys. It’s just going to come down to what do they want to do.”

Pietrangelo has this season and next remaining on his contract, which carries a $6.5 million cap hit and also contains a no-trade clause.

Tarasenko has four seasons left beyond 2018-19 on his eight-year, $60 million contract, and that no-trade clause will kick in this July and run for the final four years of the deal.

Schenn is in Year Three of a four-year, $20.5 million pact, which carries a $5.125 million cap hit and does not contain any trade protection.

Parayko is in the second season of his five-year, $27.5 million contract, which carries a $5.5 million cap hit and does not have any trade protection at any point of the deal.

Contract-related info via CapFriendly