One year would be best for both sides. If he holds up and produces, then he can go for bigger coin.
Maybe Binnington to back up in San Antonio, although Fitzpatrick might be ready for that after a strong junior showing.
The officiating is pretty even-handed. There is less called in the postseason and the officials let 'em play a little more, as they should. Let the players decide the games.
The Blues will try to make a major addition or two up front, get a boost from top prospects and hope to get Fabbri back. I could see a fourth of the team or more turning over.
I'd be surprised if another team would bid on Fabbri before he played another full season of hockey, but you never know. And I would be surprised if the Blues sold low on him and took back a meager return, like a middling draft pick or prospect. Might as well see if he can play. If he can, great. If he can't, turn the page and use the cap space for something else.
Again, not much separates most playoff teams. Flip a coin on these games, which are often decided by puck luck.
The Blues have a very well respected hockey operation, which is reflection in their consistent competitiveness, their strong prime-age talent nucleus and their excellent supply of prospects. The fact they didn't have an AHL team for one year was just bad luck.
Maybe he could be a small piece of such a trade.
Teams aren't going to trade high draft picks for supporting cast players. Also, the Blues have a ton of excellent prospects and are eager to get back to the playoffs. I believe they are more likely to trade picks and prospects for proven talent this summer than to seek even more prospects.
If it happens, sure. I have repeatedly pointed to that as an obvious fit, despite Edmonton's seeming lack of interest in trading Nugent-Hopkins.
Tavares is an unrestricted free agent. He may try to force a sign and trade arrangement to get his eighth contract year. In that case, an offer far smaller than the one you suggest should get it done. Because, again, the guy can walk as a free agent and bring zilch back to the Islanders if they don't play along.
There is an opt-out in the CBA for both sides after next season. Since the cap is going up again and salaries are robust, I'd be surprised to see the players walk out. And given the general prosperity of the NHL, I don't see the owners eager for still another lockout.
Lehtera playing center instead of Scheen? Yikes! Given the demise of Fabbri and injuries to Schwartz, Berglund, et al, the Blues might have missed the postseason by 25 points.
Yes, Tarasenko drifted some during stretches of this season. But I believe you overstate the severity of it.
Actually, the NHL is getting faster, not more physical. While the Blues do need to add some attitude and play with more grit, getting bigger won't make this team better.
Hopefuly were to the point where we can just look at him as a good player these days. The fact he skates so well could make him valuable for a few more years in this league. And good for him, because, like you say, he is one of the good guys.
It is harder to win it all without gathering those franchise-type guys through failure. Those great players make the process easier. Winning without them can be done -- and as we've seen, deliberate losing is no sure path back to playoff glory. Ask the Oilers and Sabres.
We could see some trade action at the draft, yes, but July could be interesting as well with free agency. There isn't a ton on the market, but it will be a fallback option. And we could see some further dealing once that market takes shapes.
Obviously the power-play failure was vexing. Some of the line shuffling seemed excessive and counter-productive. And while lulls in team play are normal over the 82-game grind, this group let some of those lulls go one for far too long. It took the Blues too long to "find their game" again, as Yeo likes to say.
As a secondary signing for the supporting cast, perhaps. I am sure the Blues are targeting prime-age guys capable of helping for 3 to 4 years.