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06-07-2012, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by PocketNines View Post
Why did he keep him in the lineup? It was only at the very end when the Blues got healthy. They had McDonald out, they had Steen out, they had D'Agostini out. Schwartz wasn't an option til the very end either. Tarasenko wasn't there. So compared with this upcoming season the winger depth was much less. And even WITH all that Stewart was removed from the PP and Vladimir Sobotka overtook him for minutes as Stewart's usage dropped ... and dropped ... and dropped until he was eventually scratched. He was also scratched not once as you say but in two different games, one each series. Remember how he was scratched and then he said he'd come back with a vengeance and didn't and got scratched again in the next series? How many times did Stewart promise we'd see his "A game" only to turn in the same game we'd previously seen. (That's for those who think some hypotetical rebound is a function of will.)

Stewart could get off to a fast start. I hope this happens so he ups his trade value and they can strike while they have a moment. He is the classic inconsistent, streaky player. But if he starts slow now what do you do with him? For one thing it's hard to justify playing him. As things stand now you'd have McDonald, Perron, Oshie, Tarasenko, Steen and D'Agostini under contract. The first five would definitely be slotted ahead of a struggling Stewart and D'Agostini should play over a struggling Stewart. And he's not going to be on the 4th line because that line has a specific job (be physical forecheckers, provide energy) and Stewart's game isn't that, BlueDream's pretendland notwithstanding.

Yes, someone COULD randomly overpay for a Stewart who gets 3.25M and is into his second consecutive struggling season but you're really trying to tell me with a straight face that I'm way off base with pure speculation suggesting his value goes lower than it is right now if he has another bad start? You really think he could get a mid-first 2013 pick if he starts badly next year?
I forgot about the other playoff game. My mistake.

Do you think that the Blues will maintain perfect health in the forward line-up this coming season? When the Blues finally got healthy at the end of last season, it was the first time in two years.

I think he could easily get a mid-2013 first even with a poor start next season. I don't think that you are off base saying that his value could go lower. I just think that even with a poor start, Stewart would still be able to get more than 'scraps.' [I guess it all kinda depends on what you define scraps as. To me, scraps are 3rd round and lower, and marginal prospects.] I think that there are enough struggling teams out there that would be willing to take a chance on a guy that is under 25 and has two 25+ goal seasons under his belt.

As you mentioned, Steen and McDonald were injured for much of the season. Those are two of our better left wingers. As the Blues don't use their centers as primary puck distributors, I can't help but think that affected Stewart's production. Adding another playmaker like Schwartz could help as well.

Do I think that Stewart can be better? Yes. Do I think Stewart will be better? Yes. Is it a risk to keep him around another year? Yes. Is it a risk to trade him now while his value is lower than when we acquired him? Yes.

I understand that we currently have an overabundance of wingers. I get why Stewart is one of the more likely trade candidates. But I just don't think that the Blues need to dump Stewart at all costs. If a good deal comes along, the Blues should pull the trigger.

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