Bishop Gaining Interest Plus Deadline Offerings
At 26 years old Ben Bishop is entering the prime of his pro career. The Ottawa Senators have considered moving him for several weeks and have until 3:00 eastern to make a decision.
Sources close to the Senators tell me GM Bryan Murray wants a roster player, with term left on his contract, in return for the 6’7 goalie.
I’m told Ottawa won’t settle for just a draft pick as the feeling is they could fetch the same return at the draft this summer.
Bishop has established himself as an NHL goaltender. There are only 60 goalies earning NHL paychecks and you can make the case Bishop is clearly in the top 40-45.
All you have to do is look around the NHL and you can see who needs help in between the pipes.
Teams like T.B., PHX, Dallas, PHI, N.J., WPG, Calgary, and EDM either have questionable backups or nothing coming through the system.
Blues Need Grit?
I asked GM Doug Armstrong yesterday if he will look to acquire some added grit before today’s deadline. He responded by saying he needs his skill players to play with more grit opposed to going out and getting a player who brings toughness.
Do the Blues have enough toughness and physicality to make a playoff run?
Right now you have players like David Perron and Vladimir Tarasenko playing on the third line. Teams with serious Stanley Cup aspirations have players who change the temperature of games on their bottom two lines.
When the Blues are fully healthy guys like Jaden Schwartz often slides down to the fourth line, a role he can play but not to the level you’d always expect from a fourth line player.
The Blues have a lot of skill up front and a number of these players play the same way. Defining roles for certain players may be necessary moving forward.
Throughout the NHL the hit statistic is defined thirty different ways depending which building you’re in. The home statistic is more reliable considering the same individuals are watching half the games.
The Blues rank 24th in the NHL in home hits and blocked shots. They’re in the top 10 on the road but again the home stat to me more reliable.
A player like Chris Porter, not considered an overly aggressive player, has 44 hits in 15 games. That’s more hits than Patrik Berglund, T.J. Oshie, David Perron, Chris Stewart, Alex Steen, and Andy McDonald in half the games.
For me it’s not all about hits, it’s about being hard to play against , making life difficult for the opposition, and scoring ugly goals. Do the Blues have a roster built for this?
Guys like Brandon Prust, Matt Cooke, Steve Ott, Ryane Clowe, Brenden Morrow, Raffi Torres, Cal Clutterbuck, Jordon Tootoo are just a few players who can play and bring an element of toughness you want come playoff time.
Yandle in Play?
As we mentioned several days ago Coyotes GM Don Maloney won’t hesitate to move Keith Yandle as long as he gets the player he covets in return. Sources say Phoenix wants a number one center in return for Yandle, who has been as productive offensively an any D-man in the league over the last five years.
Raffi Torres and Derek Morris also remain in play should the Coyotes look to move a player or two.
I spoke with Calgary forward Lee Stempniak on Tuesday and he’s understandably curious to see if he gets moved today. Obviously the team hasn’t indicated if they plan on trading him but he’s had a very consistent season and could add depth to a number of teams. Stempniak gave Jay Bouwmeester rave reviews by the way calling him the best skater in the world.
The Blues are working hard to complete the immigration paperwork with Bouwmeester in hopes of having him in the lineup on Thursday. Armstrong says they should have it done in time and he might meet the team in Chicago.
Blues Moving D-man?
With nine healthy D-men on the roster we could see Armstrong pull the trigger on another trade. He told me on Tuesday he isn’t looking to make a deal but is taking calls.
Most NHL people will tell you, you need eight defensemen to get you through a long playoff run. Injuries happen and you want to make sure you’re protected defensively. Guys like Kris Russell and Wade Redden give the Blues that protection as you can plug them in if necessary. These are quality depth guys who can still help this team down the road. Ian Cole, a former first round pick, would likely offer up a better return than either pending UFA Redden or RFA Russell.
More to come,
The Latest Truth
Post about tonight's Isles-Blues game with your fellow TrueHockey.com fans. Read more
Berglund Says He's Full of Confidence
Post about tonight's Blues-Kings game with your fellow TrueHockey.com fans. Read more
Blues Look to Rebound in LA
Post about this afternoon's Blues-Sharks game with your fellow TrueHockey.com fans. Read more
Post about tonight's Blues-Avs game with your fellow TrueHockey.com fans. Read more
Post about tonight's Wild/Blues game with your fellow TrueHockey.com fans. Read more