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Armstrong wants Blues to get healthy before any trades are made

Columbus Blue Jackets v St. Louis Blues

ST. LOUIS, MO - FEBRUARY 23: Jaden Schwartz #9 of the St. Louis Blues shoots the puck against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Scottrade Center on February 23, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

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Before he makes a trade -- if he makes a trade -- Blues GM Doug Armstrong wants to see what his team looks like when healthy.

“Ultimately, you want to deal from knowledge from what your team is. Right now, we don’t have that knowledge,” Armstrong told ESPN yesterday. “One of the areas we liked about our team was going to be our balanced scoring, being a difficult team to check. Right now, because of the injuries, we’re not as difficult to check. We don’t have that second or third wave we thought we’d have.”

Currently, the big missing piece is 23-year-old Jaden Schwartz, out since October after fracturing his ankle.

But that’s expected to change soon. Schwartz practiced with his teammates yesterday. He’s not ready to go yet, but once the All-Star break is over, he could be back in the lineup.

“Certain things with the ankle feel better than others,” he told the Post-Dispatch. “The ones that don’t feel as good, I have to work on that. It’s a week to week thing. … (The ankle is) not quite normal yet. I have to do some things to get it back to speed.”

St. Louis has missed the goals that Schwartz provides. After 50 games, the Blues have the 17th-ranked offense (2.5 goals per game). Last year, they finished fifth (2.9), when Schwartz’s 28 goals were second on the team to only Vladimir Tarasenko’s 37.