No, they don't control the team so, yes, some guys will get less than the desired about of time. When the Blues control that team next season, prospects are more likely to get a chance to play through whatever struggles they are having. Right now the Rampage staff feels no obligation to develop Blues prospects at the possible expense of the team.
With a game in Vancouver followed by a homestand, it would make sense to wait until the homestand to make a change. But is there is anybody in the organization worth adding to the forward lines at this point?
That is exactly the kind of guy the Blues would spend a middling prospect to get. They don't have a No. 1 to burn, having spent that to get Schenn. So that limits them somewhat.
As I noted, there are all kinds of problems with the arrangement. There's just no way you are going to get the best possible player development with your players taking a back seat to another organization's players with another team's coaches running the team.
I don't see a logjam at all. Jaskin could be gone. Thorburn is under contract for next year, but for just $900,000. No guarantee there. Sanford, Thomspon. Thomas, Kostin, Kyrou . . . some of these guys will be in the AHL. There will be real competition for spots in the bottom six. We could see a fair amount of back and forth to San Antonio.
Kyrou can go to the AHL next season. He turns 20 in May and he's played four years in the OHL.
The Blues have explored both paths in the past they continue to bid on guys here and there. The European veterans must be chased in the summer because their seasons start earlier over there. Back then the Blues figured to have Fabbri in the lineup and Sanford as protection, perhaps on the AHL/NHL shuttle. The top college free agents command a premium and heading this season the Blues had little cap space. As for the next year or two, this team has so many prospects pushing for NHL work for 2018-19 and beyond that there won't be a huge need for that.
Jaskin and Sundqvist could have supporting cast roles, if they earn with the play the last three quarters of the season. Pajaarvi is a UFA, so it;'ll be interesting to see what (if anything) he does to drive up value.
Yeah, I remember getting called on the carpet and chastised by another referee for picking on the guy. Mick had some off-ice issues he was battling. True, but he was still terrible. The NHL had a lot of cleanup to do with the officials and it took a while to get there. Who could forget Ron "Horrible" Hoggarth or the lamentable Denis Morel?
While I see this team peaking a couple years down the road, I don't see it ditching Stastny as it did Shattenkirk. I believe there will be interest in keeping him and I don't see him fetching the sort of return Shattenkirk did. Plus this team is better than last year's team, closer to the prize.
Sometimes guys have some international history together and there is chemistry, such as Lehtera and Tarasenko from their KHL days. I did like the Slovakian line back in the day with Demitra, Handzus and Bartecko. But there are a lot of factors beyond hockey heritage that determine line/pairings fits.
There is always a place for a great stay-at-home defender, especially if he can make good first passes. Such a player can flourish in the third pairing, working with a puck rusher, and he can kill penalties. I still think you need a mix of players. If you stressed offense will all six D-men, you would have trouble with board battles and play around the goal mouth.
Parayko is playing 21 minutes per night and is a plus-6. Yeo doesn't shelter him. He faces lots of tough matchups. He has 52 shots on goal this season. Sure, you could get a lot for trading Parayko -- but I don't see Armstrong dealing away long-term stability on the blue line. And if he hits his ceiling some day (he's only 24!) , he will be huge franchise cornerstone.
Right now Winnipeg, Minnesota and Nashville look the most dangerous. The Jets are loaded with talent, the Wild are getting healthier (and getting Devan Dubnyk back on track) and the Predators got better with the Turris trade. Chicago will have growing pains this year with so many kids playing. Unless they upgrade on defense, I can see them missing the playoffs.
Yeah, there area lot of D-men struggling to put up numbers despite high shot totals. Justin Faulk in Carolina is another guy like that. Colton seems to be asserting himself more both offensively and as a physical presence. He could still have a nice season.
Parayko, Stastny and Dunn and viable PP guys. So are Pietrangelo, Steen, Schwartz, Schenn and Tarasenko. That leaves the Blues two short. Berglund will help the second unit some when he returns, so then the Note is one short.
Bouwmeester doesn't play a speed game, but the Blues will count on his mobility and his ability to cover lots of ice. If he can't do that, then he won't play as much -- or at all, if he is really hobbled. It's not like this team has a hole on the blue line right now.
No. He's in Tulsa. That's the East Coast Hockey League. If he makes to the AHL and flourishes there, then get back to me.