The St. Louis Blues feel like they have their roster pretty well established for the 2022-23 season. Maybe Doug Armstrong has something up his sleeve, but they don’t have room for free agents right now and there’s not much trade talk.
In fact, if you weren’t planning on swapping some of the names rumored to be part of a potential deal with Matthew Tkachuk, I don’t know why you’d trade them for someone else. It wouldn’t make much sense.
Essentially, the only real thing left for Armstrong this summer is to try and do extensions. Most people think Ryan O’Reilly is the top priority.
Frankly, I hope the military re-signs Vladimir Tarasenko, just to put a gag in the mouth of a certain section of the fandom. Jordan Kyrou is also another pending name and could cost less now than if he performs well and enters free agency.
The key word is power. In all likelihood, the Blues are going to spend more on Kyrou than they really should.
Some would say that’s what the market supports and I can’t completely disagree with that point. However, this is more of an affirmation of what Kyrou is likely to be, rather than a reflection on the wisdom of the awarded contracts.
We’ve already seen a lot of big dollars spent and the salary cap hasn’t budged an inch since the pandemic. There’s been a lot of talk about the cap rising, by far, given the league’s record profits last season.
We haven’t talked much about when. Some GMs have already handed out a lot of money, hoping they will have room next season.
Armstrong was smart about it all. He handed out deals that are smart given the cap situation here and now, not what it might be in 2023 or 2024.
Unfortunately, it will only last so long. Eventually, the Blues are going to have to go after someone, whether it’s an inside player or someone outside the organization.
It’s kind of sad that you can feel the Blues will eventually have to pay someone $10 million a season. It probably won’t be Kyrou, but it’s coming.
Eventually, Tom Stillman will be forced to spend so much just to keep top talent in the Gateway City. It was good to have a more balanced team and your highest paid player was making less than $8 million.
That changed when the Blues gave Robert Thomas over $8 million for his extension. Thomas is a good player and the Blues were just securing his talents for what they thought he would be worth.
It’s hard not to feel like it’s not worth it yet. Maybe he is looking at comparables from across the league, but when he’s your first player to give that much money to, it would be nice to have a much safer bet.
The same sentiment goes towards a potential extension for Kyrou. I want Kyrou to stay and I was adamantly opposed to his name being part of business talks.
However, shows on ESPN 101 wonder if Kyrou would get a similar deal worth around $8 million per season. Even comparing it to the $7.5 that Tarasenko and O’Reilly currently have has been discussed.
I’m sorry, but even though I like the player and think he can be great if he continues to grow, it’s an overpayment. Don’t talk about the market or the potential.
Kyrou just isn’t worth $8 million a season. He hasn’t shown enough yet.
Kyrou has just had the best season of his career. He had 27 goals and 75 points in his fourth NHL season, although the second season was a full year.
In Brett Hull’s fourth season, he had 84 points. So if you look at it like that, if you have a lot of players making $10 million, then someone scoring 75 points would probably fall into that $8 million range.
What I’m saying is not so much the points, but the goals and the general style of play.
Kyrou came out of a cannon in 2021-22. He looked very much like a guy who could eventually lead the team in goal.
He earned a spot in the All-Star Game. Kyrou even won the fastest skater competition, which surprised even his hardcore fans.
The league figured it out after that, though. Kyrou scored 10 goals from February to the end of the season.
He had a terrible March, scoring one goal all month. Kyrou was still picking up assists, sometimes more than one per game, but the Blues have enough playmakers. They need goals from him.
If you’re going to pay a scorer $8 million or even $7 million a season, he better be able to score consistently. Every scorer goes through streaks, but the worry is that we’ve seen everything Kyrou can be.
Maybe 27 goals is the highest he has ever scored. Maybe the rest of the league has figured out that if you put a body on him, he doesn’t know how to react.
The Blues can’t afford to pay someone that much money if they can be knocked out that easily. They can’t afford to pay that much money to someone who may have already peaked.
I can’t say 27 is the highest Kyrou will ever get. Maybe he crosses the threshold of 30 goals.
I just see more of David Perron in him than a pure goalscorer. It’s not a knock on either man either.
Perron was a stable player once he figured things out. Even before leaving the Blues for the first time, he showed flashes of genius.
Still, his career high was 28 goals. Kyrou has already greatly exceeded the point totals that Perron put together, but he still reminds me of those early years with Perron.
The talent is there, but not the determination. The will is not there yet.
I was as high on Kyrou as any Blues fan. The end of the season and the playoffs especially soured me.
The ease with which he was knocked off the puck was daunting. His lack of effort or willingness to play anything resembling defense on some shifts was shocking.
There were times when you could see him using that speed to come back and make up for a mistake. Unfortunately, it made things even worse when he didn’t.
It reminded me a lot of those early days with Perron. Perron swayed, skated and slid past the guys, but never really accomplished anything.
The concern is that you’re handing out a big contract to Kyrou and that’s exactly what he is – a player who has talent but can’t accomplish things against tough teams.
Perron’s biggest contract is his current $4.75 million with Detroit and that comes from two career seasons in points per game. He has only scored 27 goals so far.
Are we so sure that Kyrou will eclipse 30 and maintain those assist totals? If you pay him $3 million more than Perron, he better be at 30 goals or up to 80 points per season.
Otherwise, it’s simply an overpayment, no matter how you slice it.
Mike Hoffman has scored over 30 goals and has never earned more than $5.2 million. Yes, Kyrou has more points in a season than Hoffman has ever had, but the Blues need goals, not assists, especially if they can’t keep Tarasenko.
I sincerely hope the Blues keep Kyrou and that he outperforms any contract he has to keep. I’m just worried that anything close to what Thomas wins is too hard to really win for a guy who still has a lot to learn.