Love Larry Patey! That is how deep that team was. For a minute there, Wayne Babych was really something. So was a young Perry Turnbull.
You would have thought those dark days at the end of Bill Laurie's regime would have made folks a bit more appreciative of perennial contention. Then again, when a team HAS NEVER WON IT ALL there is always a cloud over the next season.
Allen needs to do two things to change his image. 1) Play well more consistently. 2) Develop swagger. Projecting confidence is half the battle in goal as in, say, relief pitching. It feeds your teammates and makes an impression on opponents. It always buys some leeway with fans.
That was a high price. Then again, the Blues got the player they needed while teams like Montreal have a giant hole in their roster. The last thing Blues fans want to read is, "Well, we could have gained O'Reilly for the next five years but we didn't want to give up that second-round pick."
Thorburn and Sundqvist would be the odd men out today. Kyrou will be an easy player to send to the AHL if he doesn't dominate in the preseason. Barbashev is also a bubble guy. Soshnikov has a one-way deal, so he and Jaskin seem likely to stick unless they go to another NHL team.
Fabbri will be a RFA and he will be the priority in that group, if healthy. As for RFAs Jaskin, Soshnikov, Sundqvist and Barbashev, let's see who is still on the team at season's end and how the fared.
I am trying not to oversell these guys. I see Thomas as No. 2-type center. Kyrou has a huge upside, but Backes had two 30-goal season, Perron just had a 66-point season and Oshie scored 33 goals two years ago. All three of those guys have had very nice career. All three will rake serious NHL coin for years to come.
Not in may basement. Ah, the World's Biggest Blue Note. The memories!
The Blues have continued to upgrade its presentation, most notably with the video board improvements. We don't have as many entertainers in our city, so some of that will be hard to replicate. Louie can only do so much.
The Blues have been one of the better stories on Bettman's watch. Mark Sauer was convinced the NHL could never make it here. The franchise has come a long way.
Bobrovsky is the top goaltender a year removed from free agency, but he seems like such a good fit in Columbus I see him staying. Varlamov could spring free, but inconsistency and injuries have marked his career. That is why the team landed Grubauer to push him in his final contract year. Jimmy Howard? No thanks. Fleury is locked into Vegas now, so I don't see a quick fix in free agency if Allen falters.
Ottawa is rebuilding. They aren't taking guys in their 30s to get Karlsson and the Blues aren't carving out up to $70 million in payroll commitment to acquire and sign Karlsson.
Answered it earlier. Chicago gained cap space to add a desperately needed defenseman like Faulk. Arizona gained a pretty good young forward for taking on the big cap hit, which is only $1 million per year in actual salary.
The Blues were technically not in business when the team missed the draft. So that made Ron Caron's job tougher once Ornest officially got the reigns.
Some people will regain the franchise as a failure unless it wins a Cup. They don't care about entertaining teams or contention. But most fans do respond to a good product and this team should provide some entertainment value this winter.
I don't think they got that close. Montreal is stuck. Not a lot of great prospects and Marc Bergevin made thing worse by losing the Alex Galchenyuk trade. Now he has to trade Max Pacioretty under duress.
No placeholders left. Thomas could be the No. 4 center. The competition for the other fourth-line jobs will be intense. Odds are the team will have a pretty good team in San Antonio too.
Ah, we will never see a set-up like the NHL gave expansion teams in '67 again.
That is probably high, but he is a very solid player filling a very direct need. Look at the pressure he takes off Schenn.
Yeo is on a leash. Quenneville is a coach that makes GMs across the league drool at. Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman has lost his Midas touch with cap management, so any further issues this season is one him. If he unloads Coach Q, Joel would be fielding offers within seconds.
OK, that it's for this week. Good times! We'll have one more of these and then I'll be off on vacation for a bit. See you next week.