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Blues Facing Decisions on Tarasenko, Husso and Perron

After getting eliminated from the second round of the playoffs, Blues GM Doug Armstrong faces some significant decisions on three key players.
David Perron and Vladimir Tarasenko

Having barely qualified for the 2021 post-season, the St. Louis Blues enjoyed a solid bounce-back performance in 2021-22 to finish fourth overall in the Western Conference. After getting eliminated from the second round of the playoffs, Blues GM Doug Armstrong faces some significant decisions on three key players.

Vladimir Tarasenko was a hot topic in last summer's rumor mill after requesting a trade. Armstrong couldn't find a suitable offer and retained the 30-year-old winger, who responded with a career-best 82-point performance.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Ben Frederickson reports there's talk Tarasenko prefers to stay with the Blues but he hasn't publicly said so. He has a year remaining on his contract with a $7.5 million cap hit and a full no-trade clause. If he still wants out, his production this season should make it easier for Armstrong to land a solid return.

Armstrong must also decide whether he can afford to sign winger David Perron and backup goaltender Ville Husso. They're slated to become unrestricted free agents in July. The Blues don't have sufficient cap space for both, carrying just $9.7 million in salary-cap space with restricted free agents Scott Perunovich and Niko Mikkola to re-sign. 

Frederickson believes the Blues should do all they can to retain the 34-year-old Perron given his reliable post-season play. He also suggested parting ways with Husso but colleague Jim Thomas disagreed, citing his solid play when starter Jordan Binnington struggled this season and the lack of a suitable replacement within their system.

ESPN's Kristen Shilton believes Armstrong must also shore up his defense corps. He'll have to shed some salary to do so if he signs his key free agents and doesn't move Tarasenko.

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