So, here we are. The draft is coming up, and the Blues sit with a plethora of capable defensemen, and not so much offensive pure scoring depth. I think we can all agree one more potent scorer would put this team over the top. Tampa Bay sits at the #2 pick, and are seeking some high caliber defensemen in exchange for the #2 (or Lecavalier, for that matter).
The Islanders, with the #1 pick, seem ready to select Hedman, the defensive phenom out of Sweden. That leaves the #2 pick slated with John Tavares' name...scratch that, slated is an understatement. His name is carved into diamond and plated with 24 karat gold for that #2 spot (as long as the Islanders don't rethink and take him at #1).
Let's say the Blues look at their defensive depth chart, and decide that they've got more depth than the Mariana Trench, and the pipeline is still overflowing. Consider our LEGITIMATE top 6 defensemen either already in St. Louis or VERY CLOSE to an arrival:
Brewer, Colaiacovo, Jackman, Johnson, McKee, Polak, Pietrangelo, Junland, Cole.
That's 9 names right there to fill 6 spots, and that's leaving out Peluso, Strachan, Wagner, Weaver, and Woywitka, all of whom, Peluso aside, have proven themselves at the NHL level. That's 14 highly capable defensemen fighting for 6 spots.
Our main weakness has been the lack of a puck moving defenseman, but with Colaiacovo's emergence here in St. Louis, along with the return of EJ, the imminent arrival of Pietrangelo, and other young talent getting close, we are pretty much set for our Power Play defensively.
Here's where the dream comes in: Its draft day, Tampa Bay is on the clock and Tavares is on the board. Bettman arrives at the podium. "The Tampa Bay Lightning have traded the Second Overall Pick in the 2009 NHL Draft to the St. Louis Blues." Brian Burke chokes on his Filet Mignon. TSN scrambles to find the details. Quickly, Bettman arrives back at the podium, announcing the Blues' selection of John Tavares from the OHL's London Knights.
Five minutes later, the details arrive. The Lightning traded the 2nd Overall Selection to the Blues for the Blues' first round selection, Barret Jackman, Alex Pietrangelo, and Alexander Hellstrom.
The Lightning retain a respectable first pick with the Blues first rounder, obtain a top 4, former Calder winner Jackman, and Hockeysfuture.com's #1 Prospect, Alex Pietrangelo. They also bring in Alexander Hellstrom, who has the potential to be a solid NHL D-Man in the future...but his future does not look Blue. St. Louis just simply does not have the space.
The Blues bring in John Tavares, and instantly upgrade their offense for years to come. Their defense stays very strong, and just receives a marginal downgrade at most. This gives Polak a chance to fill Jackman's #1 defensive d-man post, which I think he is highly capable of doing. This also gets rid of all of Jackman's unnecessary retaliation penalties that have hurt the Blues for years.
Will this happen? No. Jarmo will find another offensive beast at our current selection, and we will still contend for a top 4 playoff slot next year. Remember, it was just a dream.