DETROIT, MICH -- As the draft approaches, many teams are on the phones trying to get the most value out of this year's plunder of prospects. One of the names who has reportedly found his way the the trading block is St. Louis Blues winger TJ Oshie. The former "Sochi Superstar" and 2005 24th overall pick is a somewhat alluring name for the Detroit Red Wings scoring needs, apparently. Yes, a one-time 20 goal scoring forward is a need for the Detroit club.
Let's break it down nice and simple - TJ Oshie is 28 years old, is signed through 2017 at $4.1 million, and has a career highlight reel that renders down to a shootout sequence against Team Russia in the 2014 Olympics, and an Enterprise commercial where he scores a bunch of goals on a poor rental car driver.
In the 2013-2014 season, TJ Oshie put up a career best 60 points with 21 goals, and 39 assists at 27 years of age. Impressive for a guy who has spent five seasons with his team as a top-six forward. When you render down Oshie's stats to his NHL career totals, he has 110 goals in 443 games which comes down to about .25 goals per game. Let me go ahead and say this right now - Nyquist (.33 goals per game) and Tatar (.30 goals per game) are better players than Oshie. You can argue sample size, but with the projected asking price that Blues fans have weighed in on don't really add up. Want to see? Okay, fine. But remember.. They're fans of the St. Louis Blues.. Go easy on them:
@hildymac Jurco or Pulkkinen and a pick.— Félix Magny (@Fel09) June 23, 2015
@hildymac Nyquist or Tatar. Yea, I know. Whatever.— Alex Bausch (@CFN_Intern) June 23, 2015
@hildymac 2 of their Cups? Probably Jurco and a 2nd. Tatar’s price is likely just too high.— Kevin Lorenz (@KevinLorenz) June 23, 2015
Not TOO bad, I guess. Tatar for Oshie? In your dreams. Danny DeKeyser for Oshie and Gunnarsson? Okay, nah.
@hildymac DeKeyser - Blues need Top 4 D help in the worst way— Art Lippo (@ArtLippo) June 23, 2015
Join the club.
@hildymac honestly? Mantha and that one of those young euro forwards— Ashe (@AsheKaban) June 23, 2015
Mantha is going to be better than Oshie, let's be honest.
@hildymac Gustav Nyquist, Dylan Larkin, Tomas Tatar, and a 1st round pick..... actually I'd just be happy with one of those but won't happen— Colten Ebmeier (@RideTheColtrain) June 23, 2015
You're right.. It won't happen. At least you understand.
Do me a favor, leave these people alone. They're going through a time that the Red Wings are right now, just without four Stanley Cup Championships in the last 20 years. The fact of the matter is that TJ Oshie is a suspect top-six forward, regardless of the system he has been under with Ken Hitchcock.
Laura, a fantastic Blues blogger (@hildymac) was kind enough to give us some insight on what Oshie means to the Blues:
I really do think, that out of all of the players that the Blues have, that Oshie is the most likely to be dealt. Doug Armstrong split the team down to a young core and an old core a while ago, with a strong insinuation that the young guys are who he's building around, so someone on that "Old Core" is getting dealt if possible. Trading David Backes probably won't happen. Patrik Berglund has a NMC that kicks in on July 1st, and I don't know if Armstrong can convince someone of what Berglund's role is on the Blues and what it would be elsewhere in these next seven days. Alexander Steen can actually score.Oshie can do the regular season stuff really well once he gets going. He had 19 goals and 55 points for the season. The issue is he is absolutely not a playoff performer under Ken Hitchcock (one goal this past season). That's added to a target on his back.
I'm not interested in Backes or Berglund.. Or Oshie for that matter. While I think it's great that TJ Oshie is a masterful mind of the shootout (a part of the game that's quickly making it's exit), his performance in the playoffs have been absolutely detrimental with nine points in 30 games. It seems the most popular asking price for Oshie is a player like Pulkkinen or Jurco plus a draft pick. While Jurco has had a rough go of it, I'm not ready to give up on him. He's a strong player who drives possession, and has been affected by the fourth line wasteland that Mike Babcock put him in. Teemu Pulkkinen is a proven 30+ goal scorer at the AHL level, and has been completely misused in the NHL, again, at the hands of Mike Babcock.
Honestly, I wouldn't even give our 19th overall pick for Oshie. The talent that you can draft at that position could vastly outweigh that of a 28-year-old one-time 20 goal scorer at the NHL level. The only thing I would even consider giving up for TJ Oshie are mid-tier prospects, which I assume St. Louis management would turn down awfully quick.
I think it's best to pass on this speculation. Oshie is a decent player, but I don't think he puts the Red Wings over the top. He had his fun in the Olympics, but let's be real.. He's a middle-of-the-pack NHL player who has put up but one 20+ goal season in his seven year tenure as a professional hockey player.