Almost every NHL team appears set in goal. The Islanders figure to move on from Jaroslav Halak and Buffalo must decide where Robin Lehner is its future. Other than that . . .
The reasonable price will be the hard part. I can see him getting Bobby Ryan Money, $7 million-plus per year on a long-term deal carrying well into his 30s. But he is a nice finisher, particularly with deflections and power-play conversions.
Yes, Robert Thomas in particular. He fills a need position and his game appears NHL-ready.
No update on Fabbri. He is working in Toronto this summer with the Blues monitoring his work. He came back in town for the year-end stuff. but as Doug Armstrong noted it's anybody's guess if he will ever become the player he was expected to be. Back-to-back ACL injuries on the same knee are rare. As for Blues likely to leave, Upshall is likely gone as a UFA. Sobotka could be a trade chip. Sundqvist was on the bubble all year. Jaskin may have run his course.
It's not like the final outcome should have been a surprise. The surprise would have been them getting in with that late push. What we are seeing more than anything is the accumulated frustration and fans rejecting the plan to build up talent over a few years.
Well, this team needs to score more. Everybody agrees on that. The power play was brutal. And Allen needs to be more consistent. Pretty much everybody agrees on that as well.
Renovations have been ongoing. Not sure what will look different next season after the big changes for this season.
Playoffs, yes, I believe so. I see them making at least one big move up front, maybe two. And I see at least two young forwards playing extensively in the Top 9. Then there is the definite maybe that is Robby Fabbri. But, no, there will not be six new faces in the top 9 forwards.
Keep him and play him, preferably with Carter Hutton pushing him for work. He was better than Carey Price, Braden Holtby and Henrik Lundqvist, among many other big names in net. Finding an upgrade outside the organization this summer would be nearly impossible. In a year, then it could be time to look outside or inside (Ville Husso) for something different.
Heavy competition for spots: Thomas, Kyrou, Thompson, Blais and Sanford figure to get good looks. Perhaps Stevens, Foley and then Kostin too at some point.
I have not, but obvious Tom Stillman wants somebody willing to fit in with his current group. He is not interesting in a dissenting partner.
There's always a chance Stastny could return because so few centers are in the market. My guess is that Armstrong would prefer to get a prime-age guy in a trade, but Stastny did leave on good terms.
As for the assistant coaches, I expected some change. Berube would like a head coaching job and some openings are there. Also, Armstrong noted that having three newbies as assistant coaches might have been a bad idea. I could see a different mix there. And somebody could exit the staff to coach San Antonio.
Thomas, Kyrou, Blais, Thompson and Kostin all have pretty high ceilings. It could take them a while to get there.
He seems destined to play at San Antonio next season, filling in as needed as the No. 3. It appears his ETA is 2019-20.
At 67, Hitchcock knows the drill. The team clearly disappointed this season and at this very late stage of his career he isn't going to try to take his way into another season. I'm guessing in his heart he knew he was through and he also figured management was ready for a change. Classic mutual agreement.
Yes, the Blues appear committed to spending to the cap. That means Armstrong will have the flexible to make a big add if the opportunity arises.
Eventually he could get there. It would take an amazing summer transformation to get him there next season.
Fabbri gets a contract. I'd bet on Soshnikov too. Schmaltz is protection for the Bouwmeester/Edmundson injuries and he could either be trade bait or a replacement for somebody else who gets traded. He would have to clear waivers to go to San Antonio, as would Sundqvist -- who is on the same bubble with Jaskin. I don't see any of them in the AHL. Either they are in the group or moved along.