The Oilers are a mess. They are week on the blue line and they have salary cap issues moving forward. Then again, the Blues may not project much space for a Patrick Maroon, who could cash in nicely on his next deal. Not sure there is an easy fit here.
His poor ratios for this month (3.01 GAA and .891 save percentage in November) are a bit deceptive because the Blues had some pond hockey victories this month -- 6-4, 8-3 and 6-3, with his teammates getting a bit silly with all the up-and-down play. Also, the team has suffered some pretty big breakdowns on the PK. But, yes, he will need to sharpen up during the challenging month ahead. And all that action will get Carter Hutton some looks.
I can't see why Marc Bergevin would make that trade. Maybe someday Blais will be an asset, but now he is not. Brodziak is in the twilight and Gunnarsson is a third-pairing caliber guy. At 23, Galchenyuk still has cornerstone potential.
Yeah, Berglund is on the wing just because Yeo wanted to give Sundqvist another spin and Oskar hasn't played much on the wing. Sundqvist is a nice penalty killer and the Blues have suffered on that front lately. As for Bouwmeester, Yeo noted it could take many games for him to get back up to full game speed/endurance.
Salary cap is the big issue. Gallagher is a character guy and many teams would want to be in on that if he hit the market. With Stastny back, Berglund back and Jaskin showing signs of life the Blues suddenly have more scoring depth. It's noticeable that Berglund worked on the second PP unit today, Yeo moving closer to having two balanced workable units instead of one.
Maybe a draft pick, Some teams could use emergency goaltending help. Then again, the Blues very much need Hutton in his role.
The Blues have three guys in the AHL capable of filling in here -- Jordan Schmaltz, Chris Butler and Petteri Lindbohm -- plus Jake Walman in development. So there is still depth there, plus motivation to clear Carl's #2.9 million cap hit for next season.
Crazy trade idea. It would take something like that, two cornerstone players, a top prospect and two first-round picks. It would probably take a bit more. Edmonton would never do something like that, of course. If McDavid was really available, of course the Blues would take a look at it.
Penalty killing is an area he has the most personal experience in, but he also played on the PP for several teams. He contributes on those fronts, in particular, and he serves as a conduit between the players and staff.
I'm not a big fan of spreading talent over lines. Roll your big line and force the other team to adapt. Yeo can use his line against other top lines at home and force other scorers to work in their zone. They draw checkers on the road, but so what. Keep it together. I know coaches disagree with that (especially Hitchcock!) but I wouldn't let a brief scoring lull break up a good thing. And you've seen scoring depth develop in recent games with contributions coming from the other three lines.
Obviously, no, Barbashev has not worked himself back. Yeo is eager to settle on the group he is to move forward with this season and Ivan hasn't made that cut. We're not sure if Sammy Blais will make it either.
The Blues played well without Jay this year. And they have defensemen coming. And Bouwmeester has a $5.4 cap hit for next season. But the hockey staff still likes him and he has no-trade protection, so this is not a front burner option for Armstrong.
Walman would interest the Canadiens. But that team is starved for scoring and would need to replace a potential 30-goal scorer with another potential 30-goal scorer.
Edmonton is struggling to assemble a couple of good offensive lines. If the Oilers move Maroon, I expect it would be more of a bailout trade to add future assets for a player they aren't likely to re-up. That Milan Lucic contract is a killer for that franchise. What a mistake that was.
As noted earlier, he is not a big goal scorer when separated from McDavid. He is a rugged kid and would add heft, but I don't see that as a glaring need for this team.
Interesting to see Yeo give Vince Dunn even more responsibility on the PP as part of a reconfiguration. That is a pretty big adjustment. What I like against a high-pressure PK is using five players capable of moving around and striking different attack points. Station-to-station passing has no chance against that pressure.
Steen used to be one of versatile, but he wasn't asserting himself on the first unit.
Extras: Paajarvi, Blais
McDavid is getting what he deserves, $12.5 million AAV. He is the most dynamic center in the sport. Draisatl is ultra talented, too, but it remains to be seen if he will earn that $8.5 million. In the cap world you can only afford a few elite players. Again, that team really screwed up with the Lucic deal. -- $6 million AAV until 2023. Ouch.
No, subtracting Bouwmeester is not addition. He is still a solid player and his value to the team will become evident as the season grinds on. Various D-men will struggle and/or get hurt. A guy capable of logging tough minutes is vital. Long term, yes, the franchise figures to use his cap space on something else. But having a veteran D-man nice guys like Edmundson, Parayko and Dunn keep developing.