The Crossroads

The injury to Marc-Andre Fleury and the team's struggles afterwards have put the team on the horns of a dilemma as the trade deadline approaches.
by Sean Gallagher | March 21, 2023, 12:31 AM ET

With another 10 days before starting netminder Marc-Andre Fleury could possibly return from a broken arm and only six days before the SICHL trade deadline, the St. Louis Spartans find themselves at a crossroads. With Fleury in the lienup the team went 21-7-3. With him out? Just a pedestrian 11-11-1. As the deadline approaches, management has to wonder which team they will have for the last 22-ish games of the season. More importantly, can they make the playoffs and make another run?

Rumors amongst the local media are that there has been some internal discussion about what a last-second sell off could look like for the team. What could the return be if suddenly a swath of forwards like Cam Atkinson, T.J. Oshie, Nicklas Backstrom, Phil Kessel and Jay Beagle flooded the market? What about defensemen like Erik Johnson, Nikita Zaitsev and Kevin Shattenkirk now on the open market?

Or what about sure-fire hall of famer Marc-Andre Fleury? Could a goalie of that caliber in a tight year shake up the playoff outlook?

"I understand the rumors," said GM Sean Gallagher, "And yes, that could be intriguing. But this team is built to win and before our share of injury issues showed up, we were easily in second place in the conference. If we were going to trade away players who can help us win, it sends a message to the team. We'd have to be very careful about making any moves like that."

With less than a week until the trade deadline, it seems like things could get interesting in St. Louis.

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