Rumors started yesterday that the St. Louis Blues were possibly shopping TJ Oshie to the Pittsburgh Penguins for the young forward Beau Bennett and prospect Anton Zlobin. Everytime I read that I feel sick.
Oshie, again, had a disappointing postseason, but not as bad as some others. Oshie put up 19 goals in the regular season with 36 assists for 55 points In 72 games with a +/- of +17. In the Playoffs, Oshie managed 1 goal, 2 points, and a -3. Beau Bennett has brought very little to the table so far for the Pens. Granted, he’s a young guy (23), but since 2012 has only played 101 NHL games due to constant injury. When Bennett is playing, the numbers don’t spike dramatically. In his tenure of 101 games with the Pens, he has 10 goals, 23 assists, and is +4. Anton Zlobin could have a decent 3rd line, maybe 2nd line career in the future.
If there’s any validity in the rumor, it suggests a salary dump, not an upgrade by any stretch of the imagination. I can’t believe the Blues couldn’t get more for Oshie. The notion is laughable. But if Blues GM Doug Armstrong has let Oshie’s stock get so low that this trade is more realistic than I think, then Army has failed the Blues condiderably.
A much better trade target would be Kyle Okposo of the New York Islanders club. The Islanders are open to move Okposo in order to get back into the 1st or 2nd round of the draft next week. The Blues could offer a 2nd round pick, and Oshie for the Islanders’ talented forward. Okposo was out for 22 games this last season with an eye injury but is back in full health. He put up 18 goals and 33 assists (51 points) in 60 games.
Considering the Blues have Patrik Berglund on the block, Vladimir Sobotka likely not to return from the KHL this season, and other pieces, it’s possible for the Blues to trade back into the 2nd round of the draft. Meanwhile, Kyle Oposo only makes 2.7 million until his contract is up at the end of next season. So he comes in less than Oshie’s near 4.2 million cap hit. If that trade works, Blues still dump salary, but get a meaningful player return for a push next season.
Unless there’s more to a Oshie for Bennett/Zlobin trade that meets the eye, that transaction onky makes the Blues worse. St. Louis as a city, is getting tired of 1st round exits.