If the Blues make Parayko off-limits, then presumably teams would go down the list of other assets -- Dunn and Edmundson on defense, Thompson, Kostin and Blais up front, the first-round pick. Armstrong seems inclined to keep Kostin and Thompson, but if he wants to make a serious upgrade up front he has to put assets in play. Sanford and Fabbri coming off of injuries may not swap many shoppers.
As for the coaching question, the market may still be in flux. Lou Lamoriello's arrival in Long Island may trigger changes there. But with both Dallas and the Rangers going into the college ranks to get head coaches, there would seem to be lots of talent available. Now that the World Championships are done, I would expect we would hear something soon.
Leon is quite a talent. He has an eight-year, $68 million contract with some interesting lockout protections -- he gets paid primarily in a bonus in 2020 and again in 2022 rather than salary. The Oilers aren't sure if he is a No. 2 center or a top-line winger. And there may be some buyer's remorse on that contract.That would be a fascinating trade, addressing needs for both teams.
I believe Thompson got more than enough opportunity to play in good offensive scenarios last season. But by the season's end, with Stastny gone and Fabbri still out, the team lacked much on the way of offensive catalysts. So while Thompson was seeing Top 6 or Top 9 duty, he usually wasn't playing with guys capable of elevating him. If the Blues add an offensive forward, return Fabbri and put both Thomas and Kyrou into the mix this season, that is a more dynamic offensive look. The Blues could have two good power-play units and three viable forward lines. I would see Thomas in the middle of that, for sure, and Kyrou getting opportunities as well. Perhaps Blais, too, if he can stay healthy. But if Kyrou can't stick in the Top 9, I imagine the Blues will put him in a prime role at San Antonio to make sure he keeps developing offensively.
The key with those two guys is their skill level, which is high. Both players have higher ceilings than Barbashev, Jaskin, Sobotka, Berglund, Brodziak, et al. The fact Thomas looks ready to jump in and play center in the Top 9 right away is a huge plays. Kyrou could be a power-play asset, yes, if he can take handle the rest of his responsibilities.
Perron and Oshie ended up in good scenario. T.J. i surrounded by world-class offensive talent in Washington and Perron landed in a magical situation with, among other things, a Cup-proven goaltender. Both guys had ample opportunity to elevate the Blues Both did OK, but neither did enough to merit the sort of forever contract Oshie got in D.C.
The league is booming. There are some different owners in play this time, guys who may be eager to shut down and drove away paying customers. So I can't imagine a lockout. If owners have a problem with the Kane contract, they can simply refuse to give out Kane-like contracts. As baseball owners prove, self-restraint is not so difficult.
I have no info on the next stage of the Enterprise Center renovations.
Two things: The expansion rules made more good players available and the salary cap inspired owners to expose lots of good players, like Fleury and Neal. And Vegas hit on a few guys, notably William Karlsson, that nobody else in the league valued much.
Parayko's shot totals have increased steadily through three seasons, so I have no idea where fans get the notion that he is shooting less. Teams are trying to take away the big slap shot, so he needs to move and then get pucks through with snap shots. And that is what he is doing.
Weight had a nice offensive year with the Islanders, but then a lot of coaches would with a big No. 1 center, a pure passer like Barzal and a classic net front guy like Lee. Weight is set economically and has remarked that he only elected to coach the Islanders because he had a chance to win, so I'm not sure he would be willing to move and take a lesser role.
Stastny wants to stay in Winnipeg, but he will have to take a big cut to stay in that powerhouse. I wouldn't totally rule him out here, but I imagine the Blues will target younger guys to fit with the younger nucleus. I do think some owners will be more discriminating with these mid-level deals. Look at the Red Wings: Nielsen ($5.2 million AAV), Abdelkader ($4.25 million) and Helm ($3.85 million).
Schenn is bulldozer. Tarasenko is very strong. Schwartz and Steen get dinged up a lot because they put themselves into harm's way. I am willing to bet that Fabbri makes every attempt to resume his career as well. I don't see size being an issue with the forwards, I believe it was a lack of skill and quality depth.
Less than 50 percent, since the return would have to be enormous. Management likes him much more than many fans do.,
The conditioning was fine. The fact that so many supporting cast-type players had to play significant minutes was the problem.
While the details were not announced, as the P-D reported such deals in the NHL fetch between $3 million and $10 million per season.
I would be shocked if Tavares takes less than eight years on his next contract. Why should he? The money will be there for him.
The players spend a lot of time on skill development during the summer. Once camp starts, the Blues need to start building an aggressive and decisive offensive style. Quit hesitating, waiting for something better, and quit trying to be too fine.