Former champs like LA and Chicago fell out of the playoffs for cap-related reasons. Teams in the bracket have had to dump salary and overcome it. A lot of it is cyclical, getting to the point were you have a lot of good players on entry-level deals playing on a team that still has a veteran nucleus. The Penguins lost goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for cap reasons. Center Nick Bonino too. They moved Ian Cole and Ryan Reaves for cap reasons. They play a lot of kids, which they can pull off because they have two of the top five players in the world. As for the Blues, the 2019-20 season might be there best chance to have maximum talent under the cap.
The bulk of the guys the Blues have brought here were back-ups elsewhere (Turek, Elliott, Mason), or fading (Osgood and Miller) or lacking long-term success (Halak), Allen came up through the system and it's fair to say he has stalled somewhere in the middle of the pack. So it goes with goaltenders. Dicey business. Again, just look around the league and see all the big-name failure this season.
40 goals for Kovalchuk at this late life stage? Unlikely. He does prefer N.Y,, but I'm Brodeur will make a pitch for him. The first need is center, but, sure, a proven finisher would be great.
Allen lost a lot of December games when he played quite well. The lack of goal support and the losing that it brought did take a toll. You would like your goaltender to be more mentally resilient and more consistent, but Allen is still not there yet.
I dunno . . . maybe 70 percent. Not a lot of teams shopping for a starter and those that are presumably want somebody with established starting credentials. Hutton does want to stay
That third year might be tough . . . but sometimes a GM has to go there. Like you say, better to have options.
You have to wonder if that shoulder was loose because it's hard to see much contact on that play. But Tarasenko hadn't shown sides of shying away from contact before that.
Tarasenko, like a lot of stars, can do his own thing. When he gets frustrated by not scoring, teammates get frustrated with how he responds. That said, I'm sure these guys would be OK if the team was scoring goals, clicking on the power play and winning games.
Obviously the Blues try to gain as man clean zone entries as possible. Easier said than done. I believe the bigger issue is winning draws (post-Stastny) and not getting nearly enough done when they do control the puck and set up. There was no chemistry on the ice, guys reading each other making quick little plays. And when all else fails, get pucks into the mixmaster out front and hope for the best. That's where the man advantage should pay off.
The Blues will hire their own staff there soon enough, probably after the head coaching market settles.
Yes, Seattle is getting a team.
If somebody wants to trade a 30-goal score for him, great, but he is a unique prospect. He has an exception wrist shot. On a team that struggles to score, dealing him before he develops would be silly -- unless the return was great.
I believe this team can afford to swap a D-man for a forward because Dunn came along so far and this team still has veteran protection for next year.
Blais has the more immediate offensive potential to play up in the lineup. Great instincts offensively. Seems to be on the puck all the time. We would have seen more of him this season had he stayed healthy.
No, this is 2018. Not much left there, coming off surgical repairs.
None. He blew up the roster and left the franchise in disarray.
Petro, Gunnarsson, Bouwmeester, Edmundson, Bortuzzo, Parayko or Dunn, Schmaltz as the No. 7, Walman No. 8, Reinke and/lesser veteran for San Antonio.
All the safeguards are there. Still comes down to humans making the call. In this case, they weren't sure what appeared to be sliver of white on the offside was really that.
He inherited a lot of good players, some great ones. He was so full his own oily-haired despot act that quickly lost the team and never got it back despite running through a zillion players.
OK, I have to move on to other duties. See you next time!