Back in December, St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong said that he didn’t think his team would be in the market for a rental player around this year’s NHL trade deadline. In fact, more than a few NHL GMs have downplayed their potential involvement in the rental market. Armstrong returned to Hockey Central at Noon on Friday and again suggested he could be active around the deadline without getting into the rental game. It’s no secret the Blues, with 19 goals in their past seven games and the 17th best offence overall, could use some more scoring punch up front. They’ve been linked in rumours to the likes of Max Pacioretty or Mike Hoffman, players with term left on their deals. “I think we’re going to be active on hockey trades more than rental trades,” Armstrong said. “The reality is if you’re trading an unrestricted free agent at that time you’re going to get what you can get and sometimes that won’t come until the last second.” Last year, most of the biggest deals around the deadline happened in the days leading up to the final day of trading, while overall, more minor moves were made on March 1. Two minor moves were made this week, the Phaneuf-Gaborik trade was a money deal and the Nikita Soshnikov trade was the result of a roster crunch in Toronto, but Armstrong said he believes deadline day itself could be busy again in 2018.