• In a recent live chat with his readers, Tim Timmermann was asked if the St. Louis Blues could target New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider as a short-term replacement for sidelined winger Vladimir Tarasenko.
  • While acknowledging the 28-year-old Kreider would make a lot of sense, Timmermann doesn’t see the Blues targeting a “big-name, big-salary guy” if there’s any chance Tarasenko could return before season’s end.
  • He cites their limited salary-cap space as a factor.
  • Kreider’s name comes up the most and makes a lot of sense.
  • But the Blues making a trade for a big-name, big-salary guy is unlikely if there’s any chance Tarasenko is back before the regular season ends, since they can’t do it under the cap.
  • The question raised is, what if the Blues are fighting for a playoff spot and Tarasenko can play for the final two weeks, but the Blues can’t do that because of the cap?
  • Does having him sit out those games (he could then be activated in the postseason, when the cap is off), make sense?
  • If the Blues know for a fact that Tarasenko won’t play again in the regular season, they can make a move, but otherwise, it would be tricky.
  • Sitting atop the Western Conference standings, the Blues aren’t under any pressure to swing a deal.
  • They’ll attempt to offset Tarasenko’s absence from within.
  • Should they start struggling by midseason and appear in danger of falling out of playoff contention, GM Doug Armstrong could get busy in the trade market.
  • Kreider might interest him but the Rangers could seek a first-round pick and either a top prospect or NHL-ready youngers in return.
  • Kreider’s also a left winger while Tarasenko is a right wing.
Sources & Credits: Tim Timmermann, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Spectors Hockey
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