St Louis Blues

A Plea to Blues GM Larry Pleau: Don't Go After Chris Pronger Just Yet

ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 10:  Chris Pronger #25 of the Anaheim Ducks skates against the Dallas Stars at the Honda Center on April 10, 2009 in Anaheim, California. The Ducks defeated the Stars 4-3 in a shootout.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Alex BauschContributor IMay 28, 2009

If the Ducks don’t want to sign Chris Pronger to a contract extension, the Blues should wait a year and take their chances in free agency.

In a year, the Blues will be positioned to invest in another veteran player. Jay McKee and Paul Kariya will be headed to free agency, giving the Blues the option to reallocate some or all of that $10 million. (Moving either guy before then will be difficult, given their high pay.)

In a year, the Blues could free up lots of salary cap room while other teams face severe cap crises.

In a year, the Blues will know what they have in Alex Pietrangelo—a potential power-play quarterback currently lacking the strength to play at this level.

In a year, the Blues could make a decision on Carlo Colaiacovo, who has a year and about $1.3 million left on his deal. Could he add long-term skill as a No. 5 or No. 6 defenseman? Or is he just a stopgap?

In a year, the Blues will have a better idea of what collegiate prospects Ian Cole and Cade Fairchild could offer. Will they be impact guys, like Roman Polak, or will they be depth guys, like Steve Wagner?

And, finally, in a year the Blues will have a better sense which young forwards will merit big investments and which won’t.

If the Blues trade for Pronger now, the front office would have to quickly decide which young players didn’t fit their long-term goals. That would be difficult.

Also, the Blues would have to make a long-term commitment to Pronger to make this deal work. And that commitment would preclude other investments in the looming buyer’s market.

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