If he was obviously laboring, then he should have come out of the game for Hutton. While he admitted being hurt, I don't think he was so obviously off of his game that he wanted to come out. Of course Allen wanted to keep playing, that is what players are supposed to do. It's up to the coaching staff to say enough is enough.
The Blues have relied heavily on analytics for years. I don't believe they are behind the times. Toronto has a nice operation, but the Leafs were horrendous for years. They have lots of great young talent because they got really high picks by being horrendous for years.
We are getting old! Old Blues are coaching, old Blues are running teams, old Blues are watching their kids light up the league . . . yeah, we're old.
The Flyers. I don't know if they feel they must justify that trade, but Jori isn't going to help a team win playoff games at this point in his career. He has always been very sound positionally and he is strong, but that extra gear has been missing for some time.
Hellebuyck is a restricted free agent and he's not going anywhere. The Jets will take care of him. While trading a D-man for Nugent-Hopkins would be a great idea, I would see the team spending whatever cap space left on additional forward help.
That is a pointless exercise because I expect several roster changes. Also, we don't know for sure that Bouwmeester and Gunnarsson are going to be ready. Other than liking the Schenn/Schwartz combo for obvious reasons and thinking Payarko could get one good year out of JayBou, I wouldn't know what else to suggest.
As I answer every time, John Tavares. The Islanders will have to go crazy on an offer to keep him.
Everybody missed on William Karlsson, especially the Blue Jackets. How could John Davidson and Jarmo Kekalainen let this guy go? Easy, actually. In 183 NHL games prior to this season he scored 18 goals. Then he scores 43 in 81 games this season. Is he a superstar? Or will this season become that lands him a massive contract he can't possibly live up to? We'll see. Certainly in the history of the league he stands out as one of the all-time out-of-nowhere performances.
I'd say two or three make the team, but several other young guys will fill in as the season progresses. He doesn't want to go too young next season and with so many guys under contract he won't be able to. But Thomas makes the team, IMO, and somebody from the Thompson/Kyrou/Blais group starts out on the roster as well. The team could skew a bit younger if a veteran or two gets hurt early.
He is either in a pile of guys (like Sanford) trying to make the team or in the pile of guys being offered up in trade packages.
The draft comes first, then free agency. And I do believe we will see major trades around the draft this season because there isn't a whole lot in free agency.
Jets fans are crazy too. NHL teams use similar prompts and music to rile people up. In Nashville, hockey has only be a thing for a few years so folks there still get themselves in frenzy for games. They love their rep for noisiness. Do the Preds pump in some of that noise? Perhaps, but you need a lively crowd before you can pull that stunt. You can't just punch the "roar" button when 19,000 are scratching themselves.
As I note weekly, the NHL goaltending market is goofy this year. Colorado and Edmonton confirmed that by going to the KHL to sign back-ups. Coiuld the Blues find a taker for Allen? Probably, but would they come out ahead in the long run by signing another back-up and developing Husso? Maybe not. That is the equation.
JVR should get $6 million-plus six years, maybe a bit more. At Neal's age, maybe he gets slightly less per year and about half of JVR's term. Both guys can help and power play, so either guy should interest the Blues.
I believe the Blues are pretty close to those teams as is. Obviously this team needs to replace Stastny at center (we've beaten those names to death) and add still another scorer if possible. And they need a couple of young forwards to do what Dunn did this season on defense. Oh, and more consistent goaltending would help. And a better power play.
With Dunn's development, Schmaltz's potential to fill a No. 6 or No. 7 role and the potential of Walman an now Reinke, I still see the blue line as a position of strength. Like any team, the Blues couldn't afford to lose four guys at once. But what team can? I believe the fact the Blues had to play unworthy forwards night after night after night was a bigger issue. If the Blues get Bouwmeester and Gunnarsson back as expected and keep Pietrangelo, Parayko, Edmundson, Dunn and Bortuzzo, then they have a crowd. Schmaltz would require waivers to go to the minors and Walman and Reinke would be trapped in the AHL, barring multiple injuries.
It seems Kovalchuk prefers the NYC area, but Martin Brodeur knows him well and could make a pitch. One possible hang-up: He wants multiple years, perhaps three, and that is dangerous.
Nobody has commented, but I was surprised to see Armstrong admit during the end-of-year news conference that he reads bloggers and such. Why would he subject himself to that? All it does is make him a bit defensive from time to time and that is never a good look for a GM.