I see Thomas staying at center. As noted earlier, O'Reilly could play on the wing and Schenn has obviously played the wing as well. I'd say that Jaskin is running out of time here; he either earns his spot, finally, or he becomes a trip. Given that last year was a wash, Sanford could have more time to develop. But he will pressed by young guys like Erik Foley and Nolan Stevens.
Bortuzzo is physical. Edmundson has it him to be more assertive and certainly Parayko has the physical ability to do that. This team has a nice mix of size and skill on D moving forward, especially with puck-moving skills being at such a premium in the game today.
The Lehtera contract was bad, for sure, the other two were not terrible deals when you look around the league. Berglund's cap hit ranks 253rd in the league and Sobotka is down in a tie for 273rd. After another round of signings this summer I expect them to be much further down the list when the season starts.
I would expect those guys to play and perhaps later get flipped for draft picks. Berglund scored 17 goals in 57 games, so he can definitely help Buffalo. Sobotka offers versatility and penalty-killing coming off his second-best offensive season.
Had he already made the deal for O'Reilly, would he have still signed Bozak? Yeah, maybe since the three-year term was attractive. That signing gave him the leverage to complete the O'Reilly deal on his terms and it further protected Thomas from being rushed.
No, he plays in the NHL this season until he embraces the Craig Janney Training Regimen and shows up to camp in woeful shape. I would not expect that.
I expect him to play up and down the lineup, as he did in Vegas, and on both sides. His right-hand shot will have some power-play value and Yeo and Co, try to build two units and find better combinations than they had last season.
Allen has stolen a playoff round in the past, so the Blues are hoping he can do it again. But this is his last chance. The goaltending market was a mess this summer, so there wasn't much alternative. Husso will get to make his case, both in the AHL and I would expect in the NHL as well this season. Then the team will got from there.
Why would the Blues trade for another center? I like his age and he would be great in the Bozak role, but team already has Bozak and isn't looking to trade any more prospects of draft picks right now.
The only way O'Reilly or Schenn move off center is if Thomas develops quickly into an obvious top 6 player and everybody stays healthy. Some big ifs there, but, yes, the Blues could some day have a surplus there.
Again, I think he will get there and be an impact NHL player. But it sounds like needs some more work on his coachability and accountability.
Again, to fit Maroon in somebody else would have to go. Since Sobotka and Berglund are already gone, I don't see the fit for Maroon here.
Maybe last year was just an outlier. As we noted again and again, about half the starters had a bad year. Lots of big-name guys failed. And we also saw a veteran like Carter Hutton shine and a prospect like Connor Hellebuck turn the corner. We know this about goaltending in the NHL: It's very fluid. Not many guys stay healthy and play at a high level year after year.
Uh, don't believe so. And despite being a Vegas guy,. I don't think he went crazy for the Golden Knights
That's a fair point. He could have a lot more leads this season with O'Reilly, Bozak, Perron, Thomas and maybe Fabbri, Kyrou or Blais adding more firepower.
Major ones, no. The cap is nearly reached and the lineup appears full.
That's a good minor league town, but I have never heard it mentioned as a top expansion candidate. Like Hamilton, it is hurt by its proximity to another team (or two in Hamilton's case).
Tough question. If Columbus can't get him to consider an extension by the fall, then the Blue Jackets must weigh using him as a rental or eventually moving him for the usual package of a prospect and a No. 1 pick. I consider the Jackets a Cup threat with Panarin, so if that team gets rolling this year, why not go for it?