St. Louis Blues

June 25, 2014

Blues could be considering these players and many others

A look at some of the top players the St. Louis Blues could look at adding in the next few days or during free agency:

Jason Spezza, Ottawa, center

Latest talk: The Blues have repeatedly shown up in trade rumors involving Spezza, with Ottawa expected to be asking for a No. 1 draft pick, an NHL player and a prospect in return. TSN's Bob McKenzie reported Wednesday the Blues are one of four teams in trade talks with the Senators for Spezza.

Why the Blues need him: This team has had a crying need for another playmaking center for some time. Spezza, 31, always was under pressure to produce in Ottawa, whether playing in the shadow of Daniel Alfredsson and others or dealing with constant media and fan criticism. Could new surroundings lead to more production and more confidence?

By the numbers: The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Spezza has 251 goals and 687 points in 686 NHL games, plus 17 goals and 52 points in 56 playoff games. He had 23 goals, 43 assists and 66 points in 75 games last season and was the second overall pick in the 2001 draft. Spezza scored a career-high 34 goals three times (2011-12, 2007-08, 2006-07).

Contract status: One more year with a $7 million cap hit from a seven-year, $49 million contact.

Don't forget: Spezza has a limited no-trade clause, which means he can influence his potential destination. It has been widely reported his no-trade list includes 10 teams. The Blues aren't on that list.

Paul Stastny, Colorado, center

Latest talk: ESPN's Pierre LeBrun reported Wednesday the Blues were among the teams reaching out to Stastny, an unrestricted free agent, during the early free-agent contact period allowed by the NHL collective bargaining agreement. It would be expensive to sign Stastny, but the Blues wouldn't be giving up any players to do so. It might be tough to get him to leave Colorado.

Why the Blues need him: Finding a playmaking center would help not only the second line with Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz, but also could breathe life into the team's sometimes stale power play.

By the numbers: The 28-year-old center is 6-foot, 205 pounds and was the 44th overall pick in the 2005 draft. Stastny had 25 goals and 60 points in 71 games last season and has 160 goals and 458 points in 538 career games.

Contract status: unrestricted free agent whose salary last season was $6.6 million.

Don't forget: The Blues could have drafted Stastny, who grew up in St. Louis, but didn't. That year the Blues took T.J. Oshie in the first round (24th overall) and Scott Jackson in the second (37th overall).

Ryan Kesler, Center, Vancouver

Latest talk: While Chicago, Anaheim and Pittsburgh seem to be the top contenders for the 29-year-old Kesler, the Blues have been mentioned as well. The Ottawa Sun reported that Kesler said he only wants to be traded to two teams, Chicago or Pittsburgh.

Why the Blues need him: Same as the players above, the Blues need help at center and more scoring. However, Kesler is one of the league's top two-way centers and will likely command a big package in return.

By the numbers: The 23rd overall pick in the 2003 draft had 25 goals and 43 points last season in 77 games. In 2010-11 he had 41 goals and 73 points and the year before had 25 goals and 75 points.

Contract status: Kesler has two years remaining on a contract paying him $5 million per season. He also has a no-trade clause, which could affect any potential deal.

-- Norm Sanders

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