That’s Not What I Call A Slam Dunk

As some of you St. Louis hockey fans might know, the St. Louis Blues "traded" for exclusive rights to negotiate with Keith Tkachuk:

The Blues made a trade with the Atlanta Thrashers that gives them exclusive negotiating rights with Tkachuk, an unrestricted free agent, until the free-agency period begins Sunday. If the two sides do not come to an agreement, Tkachuk will hit the open market.

Tkachuk might have many reasons for wanting to return to St. Louis, including the fact that his family lives here and they’re in their formative years. Maybe he’d even take a pay cut.

This morning, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch runs a story fed to it by sources that the Blues have made a contract offer:

The Blues have offered veteran center Keith Tkachuk a two-year contract worth $3.5 million per season, a source has told the Post-Dispatch.

Sports columnists Jeff Gordon and Bernie Miklasz step up to the plate with columns praising Tkachuk.

Friends, I’d hardly say this is a slam dunk. Releasing the story and turning up the huzzahs as a negotiating tactic indicate Tkachuk isn’t jumping at the deal.