You have permission to edit this article.
Edit

Signs pointing to Robert Thomas being in Blues camp

  • Updated
  • Comments
TownNews.com Content Exchange

Here are the highlights from our weekly chat with Post-Dispatch readers.

Sports columnists Ben Frederickson and Jeff Gordon weigh in on the Blues' extension of defenseman Colton Parayko on an eight-year, $52 million deal. It's a no-brainer for Blues GM Doug Armstrong, on one condition. Video by Colter Peterson, cpeterson@post-dispatch.com

Q: Any news on regarding whether Robert Thomas is going to sign?

A: Prior to the start of the development camp sessions today, Blues players and other locals -- we think that was Logan Brown out there -- were skating at Centene. Robert Thomas was on the ice. So that tells me he's expecting to be in camp. He's got a week to get a deal done. As Doug Armstrong said last time I asked him about how things were going, all it takes is one phone call. So he's going to sign.

Follow-up: How much cap room is left to sign Robert Thomas? Looks to me like Thomas will be packaged with Vladimir Tarasenko in a trade. Or am I seeing things?

A: I think you're seeing things. If Oskar Sundqvist starts the season on long-term injured reserve, which the Tyler Bozak signing seems to indicate is likely to happen, the Blues would have $3.5 million to work with. That should be enough, though they would have to deal with the issue a little down the road. But it buys them time to trade Tarasenko, and once they do that, the cap problems are solved. If the Blues need to throw in Thomas as a sweetener for a Tarasenko deal, then that seems an awfully big ask by the other team. If you trade Thomas, you've got to get something significant back.

Q: If Vladimir Tarasenko remains with the Blues, would it be awkward for him to wear the “A” on his jersey in regard to being a voice for the team?

A: Tarasenko has never been one to make himself easily available to the media. We didn't see him too much on Zoom last season, though he played only 24 games, so his chances were limited. The year before, back when we could go in the room after games and talk to people in person, he was better at coming out and talking after bad losses, when the captains are usually who you would get. But he didn't do it as often as Ryan O’Reilly or Brayden Schenn or Colton Parayko.

Would anything be different outside the room if he wore an A? Given all the circumstances, I'm sure the Blues would just as soon not have Tarasenko serving as a spokesman for the team. He personally might not be a distraction, but his presence will cause a distraction as everyone wonders when he's going to leave. And he's going to have to address the media at some point because otherwise the topic is going to overwhelm everything else.

Q: Any news on regarding whether Robert Thomas is going to sign?

A: Prior to the start of the development camp sessions today, Blues players and other locals -- we think that was Logan Brown out there -- were skating at Centene. Robert Thomas was on the ice. So that tells me he's expecting to be in camp. He's got a week to get a deal done. As Doug Armstrong said last time I asked him about how things were going, all it takes is one phone call. So he's going to sign.

Follow-up: How much cap room is left to sign Robert Thomas? Looks to me like Thomas will be packaged with Vladimir Tarasenko in a trade. Or am I seeing things?

A: I think you're seeing things. If Oskar Sundqvist starts the season on long-term injured reserve, which the Tyler Bozak signing seems to indicate is likely to happen, the Blues would have $3.5 million to work with. That should be enough, though they would have to deal with the issue a little down the road. But it buys them time to trade Tarasenko, and once they do that, the cap problems are solved. If the Blues need to throw in Thomas as a sweetener for a Tarasenko deal, then that seems an awfully big ask by the other team. If you trade Thomas, you've got to get something significant back.

Q: If Vladimir Tarasenko remains with the Blues, would it be awkward for him to wear the “A” on his jersey in regard to being a voice for the team?

A: Tarasenko has never been one to make himself easily available to the media. We didn't see him too much on Zoom last season, though he played only 24 games, so his chances were limited. The year before, back when we could go in the room after games and talk to people in person, he was better at coming out and talking after bad losses, when the captains are usually who you would get. But he didn't do it as often as Ryan O’Reilly or Brayden Schenn or Colton Parayko.

 Would anything be different outside the room if he wore an A? Given all the circumstances, I'm sure the Blues would just as soon not have Tarasenko serving as a spokesman for the team. He personally might not be a distraction, but his presence will cause a distraction as everyone wonders when he's going to leave. And he's going to have to address the media at some point because otherwise the topic is going to overwhelm everything else.

Q: Do you have any insight, or even a prediction, regarding what the Blues will or should do with David Perron since this is his last contract year? Offer a new contract sooner or later? If so, term and salary?

 A: The only team that Perron has ever signed a contract with is the Blues. All those other teams he got traded to or drafted by, but when the time came for the next contract, it was back to the Blues, like the swallows returning to Capistrano. So with that in mind, there's probably no rush to sign him, and at his age, it's probably in the Blues' best interest to wait because Perron is somewhat defying age and it can't go on forever, right? But assuming this season looks like last season, he probably would be in line for a two-year deal for not more than his current $4 million annually. A raise would seem unlikely.

 Q: Are there league restrictions in place between Phoenix and the Blues trading with each other due to Phoenix hiring Bill Armstrong? If they made a deal on Vladimir Tarasenko, would it look shady to the rest of the league?

 A: No. The Blues asked for restrictions on Bill Armstrong being involved in the Coyotes' draft a year ago because of what was considered proprietary work he had done for the Blues. But now, he's free to do what he wants. The Coyotes have taken on so many other bad contracts that adding one more wouldn't cause any concern, though I think the Blues would be apprehensive about trading Tarasenko within the division and seeing him four times this season.

 Q: It seems like Tyler Bozak got a raw deal in signing for $750,000. Couldn’t he have gotten more elsewhere?

 A: Bozak has three kids, so signing somewhere else for $100,000 more if it meant either packing up the house and moving or pulling his kids out of school or spending a year living in another city apart from his children, it probably isn't worth it. Bozak's estimated career earnings, per capfriendly.com, are $39,834,400. So if he passed on $100,000, well, that's a pretty miniscule drop in his total wages.

Tom Timmermann • 314-340-8190

@tomtimm on Twitter

ttimmermann@post-dispatch.com

This article originally ran on stltoday.com.

TownNews.com Content Exchange