From The Ice

Friedman on Blues’ Trades, Backes Contract

(Russell Lansford/Icon Sportswire)

Elliotte Friedman was on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 on Friday morning.

On the St. Louis Blues:

“To me, the team that’s most interesting to watch right now is probably St. Louis. Not only because I think they’re in on Drouin, but they haven’t won yet since the calendar flipped. There’s a lot of expectations on this team. They kind of lurch forward and lurch backwards.

“They’ve got one of the best defensive groups for carrying the puck in the NHL. I went over the player tracking with them and nobody enters the puck better with their blueline than the St. Louis Blues do and they can’t score and they can’t win. That says to me they’ve got some forwards who can’t keep up with their defensemen. That’s why I think they’re in on Drouin and I think that they’re in on a lot of things.

“Doug Armstrong is not a guy who’s afraid. I think there’s a team there that has some big decisions to make.”

On what he’s hearing on David Backes and the contract situation:

“The only think I’ve heard on Backes is when Ryan Kesler signed his contract with the Ducks, there were two negotiations that were really affected. One was Andrew Ladd. The other was Backes. I think both of those guys looked at that deal, and they said, ‘That’s the deal we want.’

“Winnipeg and Ladd – they’ve inched to a certain point. I don’t know where it is now. But they didn’t get there.

“Backes and St. Louis – I don’t think St. Louis is going to do that. So I’m not exactly 100 percent sure where it is.

“To me, I look at Backes and I’m like, ‘That’s the kind of player you need in the playoffs,’ and if he’s ever available – and I believe he’s got a no-move clause – but if he’s ever available, I could see teams…

“I think Washington wants to add one more edgy, heavy player. But I think other guys would too. I think there would be a lot of interest in him because he’d be a rental. But if I’m St. Louis, do I need that guy too.

“It’s an interesting call for them. I don’t think there’s much in terms of an agreement over what his next contract should be.”

Source: Sportsnet 960/ Transcript: Nichols

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