QUESTION: Carlo Colaiacovo is now an unrestricted free agent. Do you think there is any chance Colaiacovo will return to the Blues next season? Would he rank among the team’s top six defensemen at this point?
At this point, I would say the chances of Colaiacovo returning are 50-50. Doug Armstrong hasn’t closed the door, but the Blues are exhausting other options in landing a defenseman, including free agency and trade partners. Colaiacovo can be a decent defenseman in the league and he showed that he has chemistry with Alex Pietrangelo. But whether it was injury-related or not, Colaiacovo struggled down the stretch, and with his contract up, the Blues are looking for an upgrade. If they can’t find one, he could be back.
It is, at best, unlikely Colaiacovo would be back, even at a reasonable salary figure. As it stands right now, the Blues have three lefthanded defensemen that figure to make the roster in Kris Russell, Barret Jackman and Ian Cole. They also have depth players in Jeff Woywitka and Taylor Chorney.
The signing of Jackman pretty much insured Colaiacovo will be a casualty. At this point, the club should be trying to upgrade on defense, not maintain. If they are going to carry seven, they should be looking for someone who can move into a top pairing with Alex Pietrangelo. I don’t think they consider Colaiacovo, ideally, to be that player.
Certainly, he is an NHL-caliber defensman, but he also is an often-injured NHL defenseman, which essentially requires you to have eight defensemen available at any given time. The bottom line is the Blues are looking to get better, or at least they should be, and it doesn’t look like Colaiacovo is in the plans.
Yes, Carlo Colaiacovo would be one of the team’s top six defensemen. GM Doug Armstrong set out to find an upgrade over Carlo this summer, but the free agency market quickly became pricey. Former Blues defenseman Dennis Wideman was just one of the players to get overpaid. With each signing, Colaiacovo looked a bit more attractive. But Armstrong is eager to make an upgrade, so he may exhaust free agent AND trade possibilities before reconsidering Colaiacovo.
MIKE CLAIBORNE (Host of “The Sports Hub” on KMOX)
Colaiacovo is a good, sound serviceable player when healthy. At this point, if the Blues are really ready to get to the next level, especially when it comes to the postseason, then they will have to upgrade the areas of serviceable players. Coliacovo made a good contribution to the Blues. It can hopefully enhance his worth on the open market to other teams.
ANDY STRICKLAND (TrueHockey.com, KFNS)
I reported a few weeks ago that fans shouldn’t be surprised if the Blues turn back to Carlo Colaiacovo after examining the market. I don’t think it’s a priority for the organization but in the event they fail to get a player they covet it wouldn’t surprise me at all. The Blues know Colaiacovo and some inside the organization tell me he’s better than 75 percent of the defenseman available. The Blues are also looking at the trade market in an effort to grab a partner for Alex Pietrangelo. Based off of the current roster, most inside the organization would tell you he would certainly crack their top six. He played 20 minutes a game last season with basically the same group. There are some players available who the Blues like, but if they strike out Colaiacovo remains an option.