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Interest in Blues F Barbashev picking up ahead of trade deadline

Ivan Barbashev Ivan Barbashev - Getty Images

Trade talk around the St. Louis Blues has largely centred around Ryan O'Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko this season, but forward Ivan Barbashev also appears to be drawing interest ahead of the March 3 trade deadline.

TSN Hockey Insider Chris Johnston reports that multiple contenders are considering the pending unrestricted free agent as the deadline approaches.

"Ivan Barbashev is a name that’s started to circulate here a little bit," Johnston said on Insider Trading. "Barbashev is having a bit of an off-year – certainly off the pace of his career-best of 60 points last season. But there are a few contenders out there that have him on their list.
"He’s a name to keep tabs on. It certainly doesn’t hurt that he’s on an expiring contract, making just $2.25 million against the cap. I don’t have any reason to believe that St. Louis, at this point, is totally ready to wave the white flag on this season. But if and when they do, it could get pretty interesting there."

Barbashev has eight goals and 23 points in 49 games this season after posting career-bests with 26 goals and 60 points in 82 games a season ago.

The 27-year-old has spent his entire career with the Blues, who selected him 33rd overall in the 2014 draft. He has 76 goals and 172 points in 400 NHL games. 

The Blues enter play Friday sitting six points back of the Colorado Avalanche for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference with two more games played. St. Louis suffered a 5-0 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday.