Hullie's deal was shooting quick. He had an amazing release and such a hard snap shot, so he could catch goaltenders still setting up. Tarasenko has a great release, but he tends to hold the puck too long and aim. No time for that!
In decades of sports coverage, every time I covered a team that fell into a deep slump I heard about how divided the team was. That is one consequence of failure. Virtually every team has cliques. And tension between cliques can arise when a team loses game and game after game. Funny how the same team can appear tight again after winning six or seven games in a row.
That is the NHL today. Teams want players to block shots. Old-timers just shake their head at this. One, they hate to see good players put into harm's way. Two, they know if they played they would keep firing away at shot blockers to soften them up or knock them out of the game. That is one very direct way to create more space out there.
Let's see if there is any market for him. He has done a nice job this season, but he is a career back-up. Many career back-ups have had strong seasons and few of them cashed in with starting goaltender dollars as a result. And, again, who knows how teams see goaltending this season given the whole struggles and injuries across the league.
The league is not watered down. There is ample talent for 32 teams, especially with more good young players arriving NHL-ready. Even the bad NHL teams (and there are not many of those) have some exciting young talent.
I wouldn't give those guys away because they are assets. I would see what the market is for those guys and some others on this team and weigh that against free-agent opportunities. I could see at least one of them leaving as the team frees up additional money to address their center vacancy and their need for another scoring winger.
I have not paid any attention to that at all. Wrong guy to ask.
As a fourth-line banger he could have value, as discussed earlier. But it is amazing how little he produces offensively.
I imagine he comes to camp here. Ottawa checked in on him, but would the Senators take that gamble while giving the Blues proven talent? If so, I'm guessing Armstrong would pass that risk along.
John Tavares. Now NHL insiders believe he could get an eight-year deal on a sign-and-trade arrangement and that could get him to nine digits.
Let's see what Carolina's new owner hires as GM and what the plan is. He is among the potential scorers that offensively challenged teams like the Blues will ponder.
David Poile is on a nice roll, but has been in place since 1997 and suffered his share of clunkers while trying to bring the Cup to Nashville. Even this current group could be better. He moved Seth Jones to Ryan Johansen, then gave Johansen ginormous dollars. Not sure that one will stand the test of time. Acquiring Turris was a much better move, helping cover for Johansen's poor production. Letting James Neal go to Vegas in the expansion draft was a bit puzzling as well. As for the Blues, they are in the midst of a build-up. Losing Fabbri for a whole year and Schwartz for a big chunk dented the Top Six. Trading Stastny was a big dent. Losing Berglund for a big chunk also dented the Top 9. The Blues never had that group together this year. That said, there IS a talent gap and Barbashev, Thompson and Blais have only filled some of it spurts.
Trading for a center with the first-round pick in the package seems more likely than free agency because free agency offers little. If Tavares re-ups with the Islanders to stay put or move on in a sign-and-trade deal, that leaves Stastny as arguably the next guy up. I like him more that, say, Tyler Bozak. As for trade targets, the guys they would love a guy like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
I really haven't looked at that. And some pretty good coaches could come free. Joel Quenneville is facing a rebuild in Chicago, Alain Vigneault is in the same spot in New York. Not sure where those franchises are headed. Claude Julien is also in a tough spot. If there is coaching tumult, then there could be assistant coaches coming free as well.
If healthy, Fabbri is on one of the top two lines.
No, they still have a chance. They have some games against non-contenders left. But they need some wild card rivals to lose once in a while.
Yeah, there is a lot of less weight on the backup guy. He just practices hard and waits his turn. It's funny how often guys fail to make the step up to being The Guy.
The same Backes, the same failed captain, that fans demanded to pay the price for the first-round failure against Wild? Sure, the Blues could use some grit, but he is a third-line guy at this point, plus some PP net front presence.