Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/13/12

The St. Louis Blues entered the NHL's free agency period searching for a top-four defenseman. They are still searching.

They were priced out of the Ryan Suter sweepstakes and quickly turned their attention to Plan B: Matt Carle. But although St. Louis was heavily involved in talks with the former Philadelphia Flyer, Carle signed a six-year, $33 million contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Carle's deal with the Lightning included a $3 million signing bonus, which appears to be a priority of the players this offseason with a potential lockout looming.

"I guess I'm never really surprised at what happens in the NHL on certain dates," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. "We certainly saw some very lucrative contracts handed out, some lucrative contracts with signing bonuses handed out, which seems to be a phenomenon that you only have as you're entering into the expiration of a collective-bargaining agreement. I don't know if surprised would be the right term as it is eye-opening."

So the Blues' search for a left-shooting defenseman leads the club to the trade market. However, Armstrong said recently that he's not inclined to deal from his group of forwards. He'd prefer to deal draft picks if possible.

"One of the things that this new system has created is you see after a while you rob Peter pay Paul," Armstrong said. "If you have a hole, you create another hole to do it.

"I'd like to try doing it with non-rostered players if possible because I like our group of forwards, but I don't think we have an excessive amount in any one position. If we can do it with spending a little bit of our future, I think we're in a spot to do that. I think our cupboard is fairly stocked that we could go a year if necessary without a pick or two."

But if the Blues enter the 2012-13 season with the defensive personnel they have on the left side -- Barret Jackman, Kris Russell and Ian Cole -- then Armstrong says he's fine with that.

"I am satisfied we can start with that group that we have back there, and then if we do stub our toe or stumble, we'll have to get very aggressive in the trading market if necessary," he said. "But right now, if this is the group we go to training camp with, this is the group we go to training camp with."

MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Best athlete by state all time
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Over a dozen Steelers players dealing with the flu

Mike Mularkey: Marcus Mariota ‘should be ready’ for 2017 season

WATCH: Angry fan interrupts Chargers Los Angeles presser

Serena Williams forced a reporter to apologizing for saying she played poorly

Pablo Sandoval has 'reshaped himself' this offseason, John Farrell says

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Seahawks could lose second-rounder for not disclosing Sherman injury

Kemba Walker on if he should be an All-Star: ‘Not really,'

Arizona star guard Allonzo Trier suspended for PED use

Report: NFL admits refs made crucial mistake in Packers-Cowboys game

Woody Johnson named ambassador to UK, may give up control of Jets

Report: Marlins acquire Dan Straily from the Reds

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

Box Score 1/19: Happy anniversary to the 'Tuck Rule' game

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

Clarification Please: Why college basketball needs to ditch the possession arrow

NBA hotline bling: Derrick Rose gets disconnected

The 'What's a Romo worth these days anyway?' quiz

Melo out: How the Knicks can move on from their superstar

Was Jack Capuano the right person to blame for Isles' woes?

Ten NBA players who need a change of scenery

The 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot, Part 1

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

QUIZ: Name the owners of these 50 famous NFL nicknames

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

The 'What's a Romo worth these days anyway?' quiz

Clarification Please: Why college basketball needs to ditch the possession arrow

QUIZ: Name every NCAA men's and women's basketball team with perfect regular seasons

NBA hotline bling: Derrick Rose gets disconnected

Melo out: How the Knicks can move on from their superstar

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker