Over the past three days, NHL fans and players everywhere have been waiting for where Zach Parise and Ryan Suter would sign their blockbuster deals. Now that both have signed, the dominoes should start to fall.
It had been reported that Matt Carle, regarded as the second-best defenseman on the market, would wait until Suter signed to make his decision. Jeremy Rutherford, beat writer for the Blues with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, believes that the Blues will not get into a bidding war to sign Carle.
I believe the Blues should go for it.
This Blues team showed promise that hadn't been seen in a very long time. Statistically, this year's team was the second-best team in the franchise's history. All the team was missing to make a serious Cup run was a top four defenseman, and Carle can fill that role.
With Carlo Colaiacovo most likely leaving the team, they need a sixth defenseman. If the Blues sign Carle, he will be in a defensive core with Alex Pietrangelo, Kevin Shattenkirk, Roman Polak, Barrett Jackman and Kris Russell. Five out of the six are household names. It could be the best defense in the NHL.
Pair that with the backstopping power of Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elloitt, and once a team hits center ice they will have a very hard time getting the puck into the net.
But there is also the off ice aspect the Blues should look at when attempting to sign a player like Carle. The Blues have not signed many big name players in a while because of ownership issues. Players like Jamie Langenbrunner or Jason Arnott are big names, but they aren't the superstars that they once were. Carle could be that superstar the Blues can use to market their team.
Not only will he be a superstar, but he is not a homegrown star. Players like David Perron, T.J. Oshie and David Backes came up through the system, showing that the Blues can grow their talent. But now it's time to show that the team can attract and sign talent as well.
If the Blues sign Matt Carle, they will do two things: First, they will fill a need that could have made the team a championship contender last season. They will have the ability to be the first Blues team to raise the Cup. But it will also show players that are in free agency in the future that the Blues can attract talent and sign the big name players the major markets want.
It is a win-win for the Blues, and it's time the Blues go all-in for a chance at Lord Stanley's Cup.