It seems like there have been 1000 of these articles written, so I thought I would throw my hat in the ring.
First of all, it’s important to remember that an All-Star Game is primarily for kids. When you’re 6 or 10 or even 14, All-Star Games are a novelty with no equal, the opportunity to see your heroes play together in a best-on-best competition, while learning more about their personalities. When I was younger, I got to go to the game in Montreal, the one where Alex Kovalev scored a hat-trick, the shootout winner, and game MVP. The Bell Centre was going crazy, it was a great environment, and a cool event. Live music (kinda trashy live music, but you take what you can get), different jerseys, all the stars, I loved it.
There have been a lot of murmurs of late about the St. Louis Blues’ interest in Jonathan Drouin. There have also been rumors about the availability of star defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. In short, nobody really knows what the Blues will look like come March, which is odd, considering they currently sit third in a competitive Central Division, 11 points clear of losing a playoff spot, and 10th in Score-Adjusted Corsi percentage.
But this uncertainty stems from the team’s salary situation. The Blues are a budget team, and one which, with this core of playoffs, has blown series leads and lost first round playoff series in consecutive years. Captain David Backes is a UFA this summer, and will likely command a huge raise despite nobody being quite clear on just how good he is. Shattenkirk is under contract at a reasonable $4.225 million for this year and next, but then he too will command a big salary, so it’s reasonable to entertain dealing him while he still has serious value.