Sobotka is locked into a team-friendly deal. He is a guy who would have value to other teams and he is also a guy the Blues could part with to create additional cap space to add a Top 6 forward. This roster is overrun with third- and fourth-liners.
Fantasy hockey aside, yes. Just kidding. Sort of. I seldom have Blues on my fantasy teams so I won't become overwrought by their failure. Generally speaking I would prefer the franchise to succeed because I love the fans here and they have suffered long enough. Also, as an owner Tom Stillman is doing everything the right way. A good hockey team is good for St. Louis. Most sportswriters would agree that it's more fun to cover a good team than a mediocre one. (And they would also agree that covering a really bad one is more fun, too, because there lots of story lines to write about.)
A healthy Fabbri would be a great fit. He is another guy that could help this team play faster, assuming he is healthy. But the injury risk is huge, so if another team is willing to trade a more stable commodity to the Blues for Fabbri, that would make sense for Armstrong. In the right scenario he would be OK with some other team taking the risk.
Max dollars, no, but he will watch the Doughty contract closely. I don't see him selling himself short as Duncan Keith did in Chicago. Pietrangelo is one of the many guys Armstrong will keep in mind while pondering a play for Tavares, assuming John either gets to free agency or forces a sign-and-trade deal. If JT got top dollar here, that would make it difficult for a many other key players to get another contract here.
Parity is great . . . unless you are a coach trying to make the playoffs or advance in the bracket. In the old days there were bad coaches, stupid managers, cheap owners and a percentage of the players that had no chance to compete against the elite talent. Now most franchises are well-managed and well-coached. The salary cap/floor system levels things up. And given the dollars available for players, you see a much higher level of conditioning and athleticism across rosters. Guys take their training seriously and that evens things up to a degree. The old days of, say, Jari Kurri dusting Lee Norwood are long gone.
The Blues hope they don't have a high draft pick that year, but, yeah, U.S. hockey just keeps getting better. NHL players settling down in this country and having kids is part of it, but credit USA Hockey for upgrading teenage player development.
Yes, having a AHL team creates more opportunity to develop players. So the Blues can invest in a few more late bloomers and give them time in the minors. Having their own AHL team will also allow then to sign a few veteran role players to "two-way" contracts to offer fill-in support. That will allow the Blues to leave prospects in the AHL for more seasoning whiling plugging in veterans as injury replacements. In that scenario, maybe a guy like Tage Thompson doesn't get rushed.
I don't see Pietrangelo going anywhere. Fans may rail against his captaincy, but I would be surprised if the coaching staff pulled the rug out from under him.
He is well-respected guy on the team. Given his contract protections, I don't see him getting traded. He seems pretty determined to be part of the solution going forward.
The Blues showed some interest in Staal. He picked Minnesota and it worked out great for both sides. He signed for a bargain rate, got his chance to log primary minutes and made the most of it. Had the Blues got him instead, yeah, things would have played out differently this season.
Once again I get the feeling this city needs to go back to the Post-Laurie Era of unending suffering to regain perspective. If Yeo had lost the team, the Blues would not have made that mad dash to the finish that put them within a point of the playoff bracket. How the team responded after management surrendered with the Stastny trade spoke well of Yeo and the team leaders.
Haven't seem much of him. From the scouting reports, he sounds like a potential third-line forward who will play sturdy game. At the very least he will create more job competition in the supporting cast.
I've mentioned two targets a lot, Nugent-Hopkins and O'Reilly. Maybe Tyler Johnson becomes available for cap reasons -- and declining production -- or a Max Domi because he is stale where he is.
It would have taken quite a plunge to have a shot at a Top 10 pick. That sort of failure on a team with still-developing players is a high price to pay.
This hockey is better. I liked all the goon stuff, but the price those guys played for that style is terrible. If only we knew what was going to become of some of those guys. Just so sad.
I don't see any reason for the opt out. The cap keeps going up and so do salaries. The escrow thing is a hassle, but by and large I can't imagine the players want to risk ending the good times.
The team died, he struggled at the defensive end (Shocker!) and he got hurt. Just a wasted year for the whole group. Now the Rangers reboot and Shattenkirk is still in his prime. He is a NYC guy who left dollars and years on the table to sign there, so I don't see fans turning on him.
AHL hockey? I'd say that is a real long shot. It would be fun to catch some of those games on TV.
Don't hold your breath on that.
I would think the Blues would love to get a two-year "bridge" deal while Edmundson would prefer one year so he could then get the sort of long-term dollars other D-men of his caliber are getting in the league. The fact Bouwmeester's contract will be up will make that more possible here.
Those guys are all possibilities. And I agree that this team needs a two-forward upgrade, in addition to prospects. Ah, but can Armstrong pull that off and make the cap work?
Sure, the Blues could win a Cup with Tarasenko as the best players, lots more talent in the supporting cast and better goaltending.
People love to point fingers. They want Pietrangelo to a be fiery Bobby Clarke leader and Parayko to be a Scott Stevens-like bone crusher.
Sure, the power play needs to get way better. But this team won a lot of games. The Buffalo Sabres they were not.
Tavares doesn't have a playoff resume, so he is not a magic wand. With a solid defense, which is in place, three strong and balanced forward lines (which are not in place) and great goaltending, the Blues can win a Cup. I don't believe these young guys need to be Toews/Kane to put the Blues over the top, but if this team can get back to applying constant pressure with more quality forwards and more pace, then it has a chance.
Shattenkirk had a unique ability to get things moving on the PP. So his exit factored into the problem, But there was more than enough material here to have a viable power play.
The Blues have enough cap space to add one player of that caliber.
Yes, the Blues can upgrade their forwards and still keep Parayko. He is under contract for a while and the dollars are not huge.
OK, I have to cut out now. It's been fun. See you next time!