Thread: Proposal: S. Despres for J. Schwartz
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12-09-2012, 05:16 AM
Jake the Snake Man
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Originally Posted by bleedblue1223 View Post
We need another all-round type defenseman. After Pietrangelo, all of our defensemen are clearly offensive or defensive, and when Pietrangelo when down with a sprained MCL against LA, we were screwed. We need insurance in the future in case Pietrangelo ever gets hurt or banged up again.
I basically agree, but there are a few things worth noting here. First, as awesome as it would be to have a clear first pairing guy to play with Pietrangelo, I think most level-headed Blues fans agree that it's a bit overstated. The Blues' defense is very, very good. Pietrangelo is an immense part of it and the Blues wouldn't have been screwed against nearly any other team. LA and NJ were the two teams who looked clearly better than the Blues did in the playoffs, even with Pietrangelo out.

Second, Pietro is in the single digits among best players in the league. Unless the other defenseman they get is also elite, they're going to notice his loss immensely, regardless. The same goes for the #1 defenseman of every other playoff team and then some.

Third, the reason they need an all-around guy, I think, is much less about injury security and much more about that guy's ability to keep up on the first pairing. He needs to be reliable in all zones, otherwise, Pietro is forced to carry the pairing. Pietrangelo can, of course, but that guy only needs to be good enough that Pietro doesn't have to carry him and that pairing takes a large leap in quality.

Finally, Shattenkirk just finished his sophomore year in which he made massive defensive strides. Dude's defensive game is overlooked by even a lot of Blues fans. He was inconsistent in the playoffs, but it was his very first. I'd like to see the Blues have a two-way defenseman with a nice pop of size and physicality, but Shattenkirk is already a very good two-way defenseman and, going forward, will be able to shoulder more responsibility just fine if Pietro gets hurt.

I have other things to say about the Blues having to play with a disposition on the edge so that other teams are afraid of their own stars being roughed up instead of the other way around, but that's kind of beside the point. More on point: the Blues are very unlikely to move Schwartz for another equally unestablished or less established player, regardless of their depth at wing. If they trade him, it'll be for a guy who can step in and handle serious minutes.

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