First you need a great or hot goaltender. Period. Teams have won without one, but one hot goaltender is like five dominant starting pitchers in baseball. It dramatically improves the odds. More offensive depth would help greatly and, finally, the Blues need to find a way to keep improving once a given postseason starts. Look at the Preds last year. Barely made the playoffs, but they kept getting better as the playoffs progressed. They build more and more confidence. Nearly got their parade at the expense of the defending champs.
Yes, the Blues can trade him for more than a seventh-round pick and a bunch of pucks. Getting benched on a team where the coach called out half the team is not exactly a scarlet letter that will doom him the rest of his career.
They could all be here. Steen, in particular, plays a primary role. Allen becomes a possible trade chip given the circumstances and the other two were shopped as part of the quest for Top 6 forward help. Changes are coming. Young veterans and veteran veterans could be offered up, along with the touchable prospects and draft picks.
It could happen. His salary doesn't exactly cripple the team, but this was his year to prove he could be the guy going forward. That hasn't happened, so it could be on to Plan B. Allen had some bad luck with poor goal support, but it's up to him to fight through it. Bad goals allowed are bad goals, regardless of what the other guys on the team are doing.
I can see both guys getting NHL time next season, but I could also see Kyrou in particular getting the Thompson/Blais treatment and shuttling back and forth to the AHL. There is a high ceiling there and the Blues must make sure he gets every chance to reach it.
A healthy Fabbri might have helped them through their December scoring slump and helped them big a bigger cushion. And perhaps he could have helped limit the length of the inevitable downturn this team was due to take.
Look around the league. There a lots of goaltenders having tough years, many of them with huge contracts. He is still in his prime and he build a solid three-year track record heading into this season.
Let's see what Vegas does. That team already has toughness and chemistry, so it may not be motivated to keep him.
Barbashev could use more muscle, sure, but he really needs a motor that runs at a consistently high speed. At times he is tenacious and at times he is just in the area.
Well, maybe -- but this team is targeting 2019-20 as a potential peak season. Would that fit the plan?
As I saw every week, John Tavares if he reups for eight years in New York, But Auston could get there, too, if he can find a way to stay on the ice.
That seems unlikely, but apparently Ottawa did look into it.
Never saw Gassoff play, but Twist was the most destructive fighter here. Sadly, he hit so hard he could shorten a lifespan.
Both players are key assets and well-respected around the NHL. So, no, they are going on waivers and they are not getting bought out. Silly fans.
The big need here is at center. And then maybe goaltender. Those areas need to be resolved. If the Blues can fix those things and get a scorer too, great.