The coaching market remains fluid with the Islanders still looking for a whole coaching staff. So we'll see if anything else happens.
Of course Armstrong kept a Top 4 defenseman over a third-line winger who has bounced around the league. It's unfortunate that Bouwmeester got hurt, but even on one leg he was playing big minutes. As for Allen, it's possible he gets traded. The ideal scenario is keeping Hutton AND Allen, but if another team wants to start Carter and pay him as such . . .
I would likely pass on Hoffman if these stories are true. That was a mess up there. Teams usually do a good job of hushing this stuff up, but in this case it found the spotlight because of the protective order.
The team? Same answer every time. You need great goaltending (not a great goaltender, just a goaltender playing great), good healthy, some puck luck and a collective competitive drive that gets stronger as the playoffs progress.
The only way Armstrong stands pat with this team is if all efforts to make trades or sign free agents fail. That could happen, but it won't be his intent. He believes the influx of prospects will help, but that alone won't get the team where it needs to be.
What divide between Stastny and Steen?
Reyes is a much superior prospect. And he hasn't suffered a reinjury, but a new one. I don't think there is much fear that Reyes is finished. Fabbri, we'll see. His situation is dicier.
The have a million third-line guys. Nice player, but adding him would still put a lot on Robert Thomas next season.
There was no reason to compensate the Blues. In the past, other teams have had split affiliations. It wasn't ideal for the Blues, but it wasn't it sent the franchise careering into the abyss.
Actually at my daughter's house, visiting the grandkid.
I see him starting as the No. 3, perhaps moving up depending on what else Armstrong can do.
Armstrong likes Dunn, Thompson, Thomas, Kyrou, Blais, Kostin, Walman, Husso, Fitzpartick, Reinke, Sanford, Foley, Stevens . . . that is a pretty good group to have at once. Hence his willingness to trade a first-round pick. He is quite clear about player development, which explains why home-grown guys like Tarasenko, Schwartz, Parayko, Edmundson, Pietrangelo and Allen make up the bulk of the team nucleus.
Possible Hall of Famer. It would help if he played a bigger role in two of the three Cup runs he enjoyed with Pittsburgh, but he will climb the career statistical charts as he goes forward.
Armstrong admits this team could use more of an edge. A guy who can play on the edge a bit -- and also play -- would be welcome.
It's possible, but this team really needs a center. Also, it would be interesting to see how Kessel fared leaving Pittsburgh. He got fat on the power play there, even playing on the third line at even strength. He is not exactly a two-way dynamo.
Scouts like the kid. Late bloomer, came out of college a year after two years. Big-time shot, nice feel for the game but obviously he needs to get stronger and play quicker. Remember that big forwards can take extra time to develop due. When you can get by with reach, you are not used to moving those skates.
He is a very good athlete, but he hasn't developed the calm/confidence to ride through team slumps or a few bad games of his own. It's safe to say he is running out of time to demonstrate that quality.
Thornton seems like to stay in San Jose, unless Tavares pops free and goes there. Kovalchuk wants at least two years and is hoping for three, which is dicey for a 35-year-old. So far he has shown interest in both coasts, but not the middle of the country.
That is an element worth developing as this team rethinks his power play. 91 has been one of the NHL's elite goal scorers -- he has the second-most goals in the last seasons -- with that quick release snap shot.