Chris Stewart hasn't been performing, but what will come of it?
Perhaps the most unexpected story of the season for the Blues has been the performance of the 24 year old forward, but it isn't a good story for Blues fans.
Stewart was acquired last year in a trade involving Erik Johnson and and Jay McClement. Also coming over from the Avalanche was defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and the question was, who would have the biggest impact?
The obvious answer last year was Stewart who netted 15 goals in 26 games after the trade, but he has been unable to carry his performance over into the 2011-2012 season.
Stewart has played in 29 games for the Blues this season and only has 4 goals and 7 assists, which is considerably worse than last season.
So how will the Blues play this?
I would like to think the Blues wont act too quickly, as Stewart is a young and talented NHL player, but as Armstrong has shown in the past, and reiterated this season, if you don't perform you are dealt.
I posted on Twitter about a week ago that I wouldn't be surprised if Stewart is shopped by the Blues if he doesn't start performing, and most of the replies I received implied that this was crazy and while I understand where they are coming from, I still believe it's a strong possibility.
Stewart is in the last year of his contract, and will be looking for a raise I would imagine, but the Blues will likely not give in to his request if he continues playing like this and he will be forced to go elsewhere. This is why I could see him being traded.
Let me explain....
If the Blues believe Stewart's play indicates the level he will be playing at when the season comes to an end, then they would be crazy to not explore other options because it should become clear to them that they wont re-sign him and they might as well get something for him while they can.
We have seen Armstrong deal players at the deadline before because he thought it improved the team, and he was obviously right, so Stewart wont be the exception if he doesn't up his play soon