Armstrong sent a clear signal that Joel is NOT getting the big Parayko bump this season. He hinted that Joel may have to beat money out of the Blues in arbitration. $2.5 million? $3 million? Part of that fiscal caution is Bouwmeester's last contract year. When the Blues get past that, there will be long-term money for Edmundson if he continues to rise.
Armstrong made a huge offseason move after last season, spending two No. 1 picks to get Brayden Schenn. He expected the team to take a step forward this season, but when the team went sour 30 games into the season and stayed sour until the trade deadline, he decided to get to work on the 2018-19 season. At no point did Armstrong ever view this season as a peak season, like the season the Blues went to the Final Four.
When he is scrambling around, making a bunch of acrobatic saves I suppose he is at his best. His problem is the bad goal. A bad goal allowed in the middle of 35-shot assault doesn't stand out like a bad goal in an 18-shot game. So I suppose the bad goal in in the latter scenario ways on him more.
You have to sign the right guys to huge deals. And the mistake in Edmonton was giving giant money to the lumbering Lucic. Now that team may have to trade Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, something the Blues need to keep an eye on. Certainly having two guys on max contracts creates a challenge, but look how well Pittsburgh has met that challenge. It's tough, but it can done. And it's always good to have truly elite players to drive play.
Armstrong is clear about adding Top 6 forward help, especially a center. There is more on that free agent market on the wing, so the ideal play would be coaxing a Nugent-Hopkins or Ryan O'Reilly trade.
Management sees what Allen is. What it doesn't is a readily available workhorse replacement.
Well, Yeo's Wild did run the Blues off the ice in a series. And Yeo's Blues did win a round last season in a rebuilding year, so . . .
Husso needs to play. He was stuck in the goofy scenario this season with two teams stocking the same AHL franchise. Next season he should play on a strong AHL team and make his case. And next season when he fills in at the NHL level, I do expect him to play.
Now that we are seeing head coaches leave their post -- with changes possible -- a pool of available assistant coaches will form. The Blues need somebody to step in and do what our old friend Pierre Turgeon did for the Kings this season.
The Blues owned that team. They were losing money in Peoria and they needed to get out of the money losing business in order to invest in the NHL roster. Now they are affiliated with a good AHL franchise without having the ownership headache.
Klim Kostin did play especially well in the AHL. So either he will figure out that he has to earn his shot in the NHL by ACTUALLY PLAYING WELL in the AHL or he can go back to the less demanding KHL to play hockey. He is just a kid, so he has time to figure this out.
His top priority is center, but a lot. I believe that is where he will put his trade focus. Ideally, though, he does add a winger too.
He has already been on waivers and that could happen again. I would not be shocked to see him also do some time in San Antonio in a leader role, given his minimal salary. He is certainly expendable from the NHL roster as the retooling continues.
The Blues are loaded on D. They need a center. I don't see a scenario where Carlson makes sense here at the dollars he will get, even if the Blues move Dunn or Parayko for help up front.
Then you are probably done with the Blues.
Yes, he still likes Hoffman. Trouble is, the Senators also like Hoffman and seem more inclined to keep him and do other stuff, like buying out Bobby Ryan. As for the trade proposal, I believe Armstrong would rather make such an offer for a prime-age center on a team facing cap troubles.
As i said all season, this team needed quicker puck and player movement. Just get pucks through and use your extra man on the scrambles. And, yes, at times the Blues were too fine trying to pick corners.
It doesn't. Much sorting will occur between now and the time Seattle picks guys. A lot of veterans will be long gone from this roster and the younger guys will have defined their value.