Panarin is under contract for the Blue Jackets for one more year and that team needs to lock him up. If he gets to market, the Blues would have to be in that mix. And, yes, they should regret not winning the bidding when Panarin first signed out of the KHL.
Haven't really thought of that. Great guy. He really puts in the work and like Chaser, he's not afraid to give his opinion.
That is possible, although trade market for any goaltender is iffy right now and potential back-ups available aren't awe-inspiring. Allen is a middle-of-the-pack NHL goaltender overall, but in stretches he has upper-tier. A lot of guys out there have never been upper-tier.
The '86 team, right before my time, was right there. Another break here or there and they go into the Cup Final against Montreal feeling the magic. They win that series. Since then, they just didn't have that shutdown goaltender to make the ultimate difference. One Final Four team on my watch had Turek and Johnson in goal and the other had Brian Elliott with a bit of Jake Allen. Those were really good teams, but there was no Jonathan Quick or Marc-Andre Fleury.
Would the Blues like to land two Top 6 forwards? Sure. Is that possible under the salary cap, given what is available via trade or free agency? Maybe, but the free agent pool is shallow and who knows what teams will do on the trade front.
Once in a while I will do a general chat to fill in. Those Rams chats were great. Oh the angst! The bitterness! The sarcasm!
Brady could go third overall. If the Blues find a forward at the end of the first round, it would have to a be pure talent (like Klim Kostin last year) that fell due to injury or another issue. The Blues found Thompson, a late bloomer, late in the first round. It is possible but difficult.
The head coaching landscape isn't completely settled, but it is getting there. That will help guide Armstrong as he looks at the Blues staff and also the San Antonio staff. Guys like Dave Tippett, who did a bit of consulting for the Blues in camp. went into this offseason hoping to land head coaching roles. Let's see how the whole market shakes out.
Crosby is a rare player. Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel and Auston Matthews are the sorts of franchise centers who would love to be that kind of player. They would settle for winning cups like Toews and Kopitar. Tarasenko is pretty much a shooter. He is a really good shooter, like Ovechkin, but, like with Ovechkin, it seems unreasonable to expect him to carry his long-suffering team to the title. He can help the cause, like Brett Hull did back in the day. But carry the team? No.
Sobotka wasn't quite as pesky as before, which is not a complete shock for a player coming back from the slower pace KHL, His his hit rate and takeaway rates weren't as good as in 2013-14, but they didn't fall off the cliff. He started well offensively and finished well overall, but like many teammates he struggled through the middle of the season. But he played 81 games, which is pretty good if he were injured. And the Blues made no mention of him needing surgery after the season. As for why the team signed him, they got him for moderate dollars and they knew he could play in all scenarios.
Schenn was an effective scorer from the in Philly. That team also had Wayne Simmonds as an elite net-front presence guy, elite passing forwards in Giroux and Voraek and an elite power-play point man in Shayne Gostisbehere. Add those four to the Blues power play and watch Schenn improve!
Of goaltenders are going to fall back into there while under duress to either prevent the puck from going in or hiding it from view. Yes, it is legal. Skaters can't cover the puck with hand and move it, but goaltenders certainly can. About the only things they can't do is deliberately knock the net off of its moorings to stop play or throw their stock at the puck.
Nothing new on that. Working out in Toronto, with the Blues staff checking in.
The Golden Knights will be copied next season. Just watch how many teams put fast guys on their third and fourth lines rather than bruisers. Just watch how many teams try to play faster by cutting down on the number of passes back to the D-men for deliberate regrouping at even strength. The rules changes of a few years back reward speed and Vegas became a trend-setter teams will copy.
Sure, the Blues will also look to move extraneous players to add extra picks and/or clear a spot for a younger player to fill. But the task at hand is to improve the NHL for next year. The Blues are heading into Year 3 of the rebuild and it's time to see real progress on the ice.
A lot of their key guys are in the World Championships, which is a pretty good experience for them heading into the summer. That is a skating/skill event. So I don't see the extra rest as being all that key. The Blues did dodge the injury risk inherent to the playoffs. so there is that.
I'd trade Fabbri first, just because of the obvious risk. Then Kostin, who still must prove his willingness to play at the North American pace. He is early in his development. Then Thompson, because it could take him a while to reach his ceiling. Big forwards typically take years to evolve. Then Kyrou, who needs the round out his game. The last guy I would trade is Thomas, who appears to be NHL-ready.
Tavares, assuming he gets there.
OK, that's it for this week. Thanks! See you next time!