Here's an interesting scenario/dilemma. Say the Blues qualify Stewart and he accepts an offer from either Detroit of Chicago. Would you match so you don't have to play against Stewart a ton (knowing he has torn us up in the past on Colorado) and be bound to whatever the offer was or take the draft picks and hope he doesn't return to he potential 30 goal form (which could realistically happen playing next to either Datsyuk or Toews)?
I was thinking the other day one sign of him moving on being the right decision is not having even the faintest little fear of that. I just don't believe he can contribute to a team that is built to win in the modern NHL. He can contribute to a defensively irresponsible team that relies on run and gun to win sometimes by turning the game into a coin flip.
He's just bad with the puck. Doesn't make good decisions with it. Doesn't fight for it hard enough. Not worried he'd come back to haunt the Blues even the tiniest little bit. Berglund I might've worried about.
If you want insight into Chris Stewart, go to NHL.com and look at video of all his goals. (When he's not scoring, he's not doing much that's useful, I think we can all agree. He's not a playmaker.) His Colorado goals start on page 4.
Watch his Colorado goals. You'll notice he scores a fair number of goals standing in front on the PP and banging ones in from a few feet away. Otherwise he scored lots on the rush – slapshots after being fed on right wing with lots of room to shoot. So many goals off the rush. Plenty of flying the defensive zone early to get an early step so he can use his speed. Notice what you don't see much of in Colorado? Goals scored off a cycle unless he's on the PP. Most of his PP goals are tips or knock-ins standing in front of the goalie. He likes parking down low by the goalie's right shoulder and cleaning up rebounds that come from the half boards to the goalie's left.
So unless the Blues fire Hitchcock and they switch systems, Stewart's goals in St. Louis have to be much more hard nosed, rebounds in and around the slot. He also competely needs space that the PP brings. He really likes the slapshot even off the rush. That just won't happen much because the Blues demand their forwards not cheat racing out of the zone. Again, not going to change.
There are teams that will play this way, and his numbers will go back up when he's on one.