All across the length and breadth of the St. Louis Blues fan base this question was being asked, “Why was T.J. Oshie traded?” I mean, it was clear when Ken Hitchcock was retained as head coach for another season that any changes would be on ice not off it. The Blues have been mired in a state that could be called, ‘San Jose Shark Syndrome’. That is, they have played the regular season like a team with something to prove, however in the playoffs they have barely showed up. Four straight playoff berths, only to go home before the party really started. What’s up?
My answer to the question as to why T.J. Oshie was traded to the Washington Capitals was not really answered until the Blues signed uber talented Russian right winger Vladimir Tarasenko to an eight year, $60 million dollar contract. The Blues have decided that Vlad is the player they will build their future around (and its a choice that is tough to dispute). Oshie was great; dynamic on the ice and in the shootout, however he is a player that is more suited to a heavy secondary role. The Blues decided to trade him in order to 1) Show they were doing something about four straight years of playoff futility, 2) To free up funds to sign Vlad long term and 3) To show the direction this team is headed. I think this trade will positive for all involved.
If Oshie can manage to play on the same line with Alex Ovechkin, Nickolas Backstrom (or even BOTH!), he could have career numbers in goals and assists (which I will consider in fantasy hockey drafts and so should you). I wish the best of good fortune to T.J. Oshie and I hope he does well. I am also optimistic about Tarasenko as the future of the St. Louis Blues! There is more to be done to push this team to a higher level, but this is a good start.