This trade idea is more of a hypothetical than a reality at this point. A big part of the St. Louis Blues blue line now is Carl Gunnarsson. While Gunnarsson’s name appeared in quite a few trade rumors two years ago, there’s not so many now.
The blue line for the Canes does not have much of a physical aspect to it right now, or a lot of players that are on the good side in the plus/minus department. In fact, Trevor van Riemsdyk is the only member of Carolina’s defense that is in the positive of plus/minus.
At a +11, van Riemsdyk is somewhat of an anomaly this season. His defensive partner for most of the season, Noah Hanifin (who also leads all defenders on the team in points with 19), is a -3. However, Gunnarsson is a +13 this season. He’s seen that type of number in the plus/minus department for five of the past six seasons as well.
St. Louis is in need of a top six forward and the Canes have the resources to deliver for them. Throwing in Rask, Derek Ryan, and a draft pick might be able to land a player like Gunnarsson. Moreover, Gunnarsson is a player that could stick around Raleigh for a few years. It’s an idea that could serve as more of a template for a big need for this team, not something that will actually become a reality.