St. Louis Blues trade Allen; now what?

Bradley Piros, Sports editor

After a rather disappointing end to the season, losing to the Vancouver Canucks in six games, the St. Louis Blues had some decisions to make. The problem was simple really, clear plenty of cap space so they can resign their best defenseman and captain, Alex Pietrangelo. But how are they going to do it and is it even a good idea?

The first of, I’m sure, many moves to come was to trade away back up goalkeeper Jake Allen. The news broke Wednesday afternoon that the Blues would trade Allen and a 2022 seventh-round pick to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a third and seventh-round pick in the 2020
draft.

When I saw the news first on Twitter, I was honestly sad. He’s been around as long as I’ve been a fan. He was a backup, sure, but he still had a great ability to win and even played better than Jordan Binnington in this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs. At least Allen seems happy, though.

” I’m definitely looking to have a great next season, especially a new start in Montreal,” Allen said. I’m looking forward to a new opportunity. A new opportunity opens a lot of doors, and I’m looking forward to putting on a Canadiens sweater for the first time. And yeah, I know the business side of the game too. I’m not naive, but it could be a great opportunity for me moving forward.”

Allen will most likely be backup behind veteran Corey Price. Price played 58 regular season games last season going 27-25-6 with a .909 save percentage. Not exactly exciting numbers, so maybe Allen could fight for a starting position assuming he plays well. If not, Price is 33 and will be out the door soon. It was a good move for the Canadiens.

Allen played well for the Blues starting 21 games going 12-6-3 with a career best .927 save percentage, but business is business and money is needed elsewhere.

When general manager Doug Armstrong was asked about resigning Pietrangelo, he said, “Obviously I don’t think we’ve made any secret that we’d love to get Alex signed, and I think Alex has made it known that he would like to sign here, so we’re going to have to work through
that. At the end of the day, it’s a math equation.”

That’s where I just don’t know about this. Do we re-sign a 30-year old just because he’s a veteran and our long-time captain? I mean, let’s not be sentimental here, but there are lots of other free agents out there, right?

According to Sportsnet, Pietrangelo is the No. 1 free agent this off season. Looking at the list, I can agree. But here’s a list of other defensemen that are just options: Torey Krug (Boston Bruins), Tyson Barrie (Toronto Maple Leafs), T.J. Brodie (Calgary Flames) just to name a few.

Or they could bring back the likes of former captain Kevin Shattenkirk (Tampa Bay Lightning) or Joel Edmundson (Carolina Hurricanes). Now that I type all that out, I realize those options are all not so good when compared to Petro. They are all similar in age, but not nearly as good as Petro. Maybe I’m being a little biased, but there’s plenty of reason that Pietrangelo topped Sportsnet’s list.

Bradley Piros Jake Allen Column It makes sense for both parties if he resigns. He’s not out to get paid, he wants to win championships, and the Blues’ window is still wide open. It just sucks seeing players go to keep
another. Allen realized his place in the team, and he was most respectful about everything on his way out.

As for who will be Binnington’s backup, that will most likely be Ville Husso. Husso played the last four seasons in the AHL before signing a two-year, one-way contract back in January. It will be his time to shine in the majors, hopefully it’s not too tall of a task. The Blues have gotten lucky with rookie goalies, so we’ll see how it goes.

I could be like every bitter Blackhawks fan and complain about the salary cap, but that’s just not for me. Players come and go and money talks. I just hope we don’t overpay him and keep him well past his prime. I’m thinking a five-year deal maximum, but we’ll see. Doug Armstrong is a smart man and a magician when it comes to making deals. This deal could even be made by the time this gets published, but if not it’s only a matter of time. I don’t think anyone would mind seeing Alex Pietrangelo retire as a St. Louis Blue.