That's hard to say. There is only so much money. Had Backes stayed, that would have impacted Berglund for sure and maybe Steen.
Darling was a system goaltender in Chicago, but then again Carolina checked well too and he still collapsed. That reminded us that backups are sure to progress when they get to start, but teams still judge each guy individually. Hutton isn't viewed the same as, say, Philipp Grubauer.
The challenge for the NHL is that it is still a gate-driven sport and the high prices limit the audience for its games. We're seeing better marketing of the players, a better product and more accessibility through videos and such, but the percentage of the fan base than can actually attend games shrinks every year.
Armstrong talked tough early on, saying he wasn't giving long-term dollars to Edmundson and he'd have to use arbitration to get it. Top 4 defenseman are getting at least $4 million these days and Joel is moving into that territory. Does he take a two-year bridge deal? Does he take one year and way for the JayBow contract slot to go away? If I am him, I bet on myself and take a one-year deal. The rates for defensemen only go up.
I believe Stillman has bought into the long-haul build-up, and he backed that up with the contract. He expects improvement, but this is not the "all in" season.
That is one supersized front office, with all those Hall of Famers chiming in. At some point if that huge advisory panel isn't producing Cups, maybe the money would be spent better elsewhere.
Don't forget that Armstrong went for it with the team that reached the Final Four. In today's NHL, you can go "all in" from time to time but you spend a lot of time building up due to the cap.
This team isn't built around Steen, Berglund and Jaskin. Those are supporting cast guys. It's not up to them to bring the Cup here. Allen? We'll see. This is likely his last shot here to be the No. 1. The nucleus of Tarasenko, Schwartz, Schenn. Pietrangelo, Parayko plus the GenNext of Dunn, Thomas, Kyrou, Thompson, et al is fine.
Pierre LeBrun, Elliotte Friedman and Darren Dreger are a good place to start.
The Golden Knights will reward a lot of those guys with new, long-term deals. Can they stay as hungry? Can they handle being the hunted? I expect a good season, but not a great one.
Right now, no. Let's see if Corey Crawford makes it back.
Yeah, that did not work out great for the Rangers.
Sure, he's waited his turn. The two bad playoff games doesn't change that. I think he gets a great chance to start this season.
Buffalo, Carolina and the New York Islanders need a starter. He is one of the top few options out there.
Yeah, maybe one of them could have convinced another NHL team to end its affiliation agreement so the Blues could have it. Or not.
I see Schmaltz in the group because he will have to clear waivers next season. Walman, no. Reinke, no. If everybody gets healthy and stays healthy, against all odds, then likely one of the veterans get traded.
Sure, it's a pain on the national TV side. Especially when you have to go hunting for playoff games. But TV is becoming old news in the sports delivery business. In five years, how involved will the networks even be?
If the Blues did go after Skinner for a year, it would because the price was low enough. The price for Panarin, even as a rental, would be quite high.
If he can get multiple years elsewhere, the Blues should let him go. Time to get younger.
Folks in Montreal had issues, but that's Montreal. Having a brash player is usually a good thing. It beats a bunch of mopers.
I would be very surprised if the Blues went all summer without making moves.
Well, we'll see. There could be other combinations that could make sense.
OK, that's it for today. Enjoy the draft!