Two years ago, the Blues fleeced the Maple Leafs in a deal that sent Lee Stempniak to Toronto for Alex Steen and Carlo Colaiacovo. At the time, I might have been the only person in St. Louis who liked that deal. I felt Stempniak was a flash in the pan, and that either Steen or Cola straight up would have been a good trade. But Stempniak was a fan favorite in the STL, probably because he was one of the few glimmers of hope during our last place seasons.
As it turns out, Stempniak didn't do well until the Leafs traded him. Colaiacovo was solid enough as a depth d-man, and Steen had a career year last year.
Now, Stemniak's a free agent. Many Blues fans, under the delusion he will provide more scoring, want to sign him.
He's a 27 year old guy who almost scored 30 goals twice in 5 seasons. Does that sound like the scoring help the Blues should spend money on? Are these people just hoping they can reuse the Stempniak jerseys they bought 3 years ago?
People often forget that Stempniak usually hovers around 15 goals. When he's not scoring (which is often), he doesn't bring a whole lot to the table.
Meanwhile the Blues literally have a roster full of guys who have scored 20 goals or more at some point in their career: Boyes, McDonald, Backes, Berglund, Perron and Steen. TJ Oshie hasn't scored 20 yet, but there's no reason to think he won't.
For those of you counting at home, that's 7 guys who can score 20 or more goals. And you know what? We still sucked on offense. So, how does Stempniak help? How does a guy who - in a GOOD year - scores 20 goals put this team over the top?
The fact is, we don't need another 20 goal scorer. We need a guy who can put the puck away consistently. Someone not named Brad Boyes who can score 30 or 40 goals every year. Scoring by committee hasn't really worked for us so far. Coach Payne's style might change that a little, but most fans still feel like we are a goal scorer away from being a consistent playoff team.
Right now, the only solution for the Blues is to get a goal scorer through a trade. John Davidson's front office has been very opportunistic in player trades. He'll wait for the right player to come along before pulling the trigger on a trade.