I've seem some "reports" about the possibility of the Blues going to Kansas City because of the problems with the city approving the renovation funding. I don't want to use the term "Fake ..." (I can't even get myself to type it), but that's what it is. You're always going to have speculation during situations like this, so I get it, but it's nothing to be worried about. Kansas City has been trying for a team for a long time and they may get one someday. A fine fellow by the name Paul McGannon does a tremendous job in regards to KC's efforts, including bringing a Blues game to the city every year. But for whatever reason, they didn't have a group step up during the NHL expansion process and so it doesn't look very promising for the near future. At any rate, I could never envision a day when that team would be the Blues.
I was there Wednesday and there was a good group of players, some Blues and other locals in the NHL. Off the top of my head, there was Fabbri, Brodziak, Parayko, Pietrangelo, Maroon, Bishop and Lehtera. There were others too, but I was pre-occupied at the pretzel stand.
Not yet. That stuff usually trickles out in the next week or so. When I hear of something, I'll post a Morning Skate blog at stltoday.com, which I'll also link on Twitter (@jprutherford).
The renovations continue but obviously will be wrapping up pretty soon. I think the first event at Scottrade Center following the renovations is Ed Sheeran on Sept. 17. As far as the lawsuits, here goes: an alderman sued the city, the Blues and Kiel Center Partners. The Blues then asked a judge to order the comptroller, Darlene Green, to sign off on the financing agreement for the renovations and lastly a judge has given Green a deadline.
Well, they're using Bouwmeester's contract because Lehtera isn't on the team anymore. And not to stick up for the Blues, Armstrong or Bouwmeester, but that's pretty good when your "worst" contract was signed in 2013. All kinds of things can happen with a player in 3-4 years, like, uh, they get older. Bouwmeester is 33 now. Is he the same defenseman that he was a few years ago? Probably not, but what 33-year-old is. The fact is that his $5.4 million cap hit ranks No. 33 in the league today among defensemen and he averaged 22:24 of ice time last year (which was 28th). Five years was a long contract, sure, but I don't look at his contract like the ball and chain that some fans do.
Dunn: I'm going to go out on a limb and say 35 percent. Kyrou: I like him but with him having another year of junior eligibility I'm going to say 7 percent.
I'm going to say that Nashville is the favorite, although the Preds have to continue getting good goaltending out of Rinne. I still like Chicago, even though they're not the same on paper after trading Hjalmarsson and Panarin and losing Hossa for the year because of his mysterious allergies. I'd throw the Blues up there in the mix and Dallas should be much improved with Bishop, Radulov, Methot, Hanzal and Hitch of course.
I had to look it up, but his best offensive year in junior was seven goals and 17 points in 34 games in the Western Hockey League. I think what we witnessed last year in the playoffs was a little bit of the magic touch, so I wouldn't count on him scoring overtime winners five times a year. But I do think what he did against Minnesota will give him some confidence to try a little more offensively and then you never know. Remember when Christian Backman scored a couple of goals and then took off ... nevermind, that didn't happen. I think the Blues will be happy if Edmundson just plays a tough, solid defensive game, especially because he'll likely be alongside Parayko, who can provide the offense. And if Edmundson chips in every once in a while, great!
The Blues' first game is Sept. 8 against Minnesota. I haven't seen an official roster yet, so I don't know who exactly is on the roster. But if you're a Blues fan looking at the future, you definitely want to see how Tage Thompson, Klim Kostin, Jordan Kyrou and Jake Walman look. Am I missing anybody?
The great Bert Godin will have a different role this year. He has been replaced as head equipment manager and will work with the Blues as a consultant. I don't know the job description and I don't have particulars on why the move was made.
Where my NASCAR homies at?
I'm scanning the Blues' roster right now looking for one. Still scanning ...
I've looked at it 3-4 times and still scanning ...
Yikes, they don't have one. Gunnarsson can make you giggle and Hutton can be fun to talk to, but I'm going to have to go with Ott again. Man, I hope he comes out of retirement.
He's been right around 40 goals and 75 points each of the last three seasons, so I'm going to put him down for 45 goals and 83 points.
Did you watch the end of the season and the playoffs?
Ah, thanks for the clarification. Great cause, great plug.
Schwartz has to get back to that level. He's 25 years old, he's one of the top 2-3 core players on this team and he's already shown that he's capable of scoring 25. He has been banged up a little in the past but last year played 78 games and had 19 goals. There was a lot going on last year with the coaching change, etc., so I don't see why Schwartz, as long as he's healthy, can't be that guy. The Blues have so many young players up front that he has to be a leader. As far as Steen, yes, I could easily see him getting some time on the right wing. The Blues have used him a lot there with the glaring hole on that side following the loss of Perron, somebody is going to have to help. You've got guys like Paajarvi, who had a good year, Jaskin and the newcomer Beau Bennett ... maybe even a guy like Sanford. Some decent options but none are Alex Steen. The hang up is going to be whether Fabbri sticks at center. If he does, you'll probably need Steen at left wing. But if Fabbri switches back to LW, then Steen could be moved around easier.
Steen can play any of the three positions and probably will play all three. But the need appears to be at right wing and he's one of the few reliable veterans who has experience there. Wow, 35 for Schwartz. It's possible, but he'll have to be more consistent than last year and also get a little more luck than a year ago.
No recent reports, but the last update from the Blues was that he'd be ready for the Prospect tournament.
I didn't think that I was dreaming about that series.
Allen still has a bit to prove to be put in that conversation, but I think he's close, I do. His numbers from last year are a bit skewed in terms of where he ranks in the league because he had such a horrendous stretch. I think the way he recovered and how he played in the playoffs reflects more on what he's going to be in the future than if we had a dazzling 1.32 GAA and .944 save-percentage to look at. With goalies, it's mental and he passed a big test last year.
I can't disagree. If I'm starting a team with the Blues' roster available to me, I'm picking Schwartz, Tarasenko, Pietrangelo and Parayko with my top four. I think very highly of Schwartz.
Joel Farnsworth, who has been with the Blues for a while. He got the promotion.
Steen had his fewest goals and points in the last four years, so the Blues better hope that it's not him who regresses. He's another guy who has to produce. He doesn't get a free pass because he's a veteran with a big heart. He's entering the first year of his new four-year, $23 million deal with a $5.75 cap hit. The Blues wouldn't give David Backes that money at his age, they gave it to Steen. So he's got to show that he's not trending the wrong direction and be a guy who can still score 20-22 goals for this team.
I envision him helping out. But I don't see a 25-year-old with almost 200 games in the league suddenly becoming the guy who was picked No. 20 overall in 2010. But he's with his third organization and had a decent year with the Devils last year. So if he stays healthy, which has been tough in his career, I think he can help. I don't think you look at him at replacing David Perron. I just think he's a guy who can give you a little in a second- or third-line role. The fact that he's right shot definitely helps.
That's what the word has been for a few years. I know they've grown youth hockey in the area the last few years, so maybe that changes. But the community and corporate support is not to the level right now that you need right now to back an NHL team. You can understand why it would be tough sell when trying to lure a potential owner.
I'll go with Schwartz No. 2, and you can definitely find a box of Oshie O's in the basement of your nearest middle-aged bald wearing a 5-year-old, form-fitting No. 74 jersey.
Thanks for further input. That's why I love the chat because we hear from people who live in the actual parts of the country we're talking about.
What do you mean you've got him to win? You called a bookie or your told your brother he was going to win? As far as NASCAR drivers in the lower tiers, I think it's great (I'm kidding, they really do that?) I'd be a hypocrite if I said I didn't like it though because whenever my 4-year-old son and his friends are shooting baskets, I go out and block the snot out of their shots. That's a great feeling and that's probably how Brad Keselowski (correct spelling, right?) feels when he goes out and wins the lower tier. I'd actually like watching Crosby play in a junior hockey game. Could you imagine the 15-year-old enforcers lining up to run him?
Hey I can rip because I'm right there with you. When I was a youngster, Great Clips cut my hair and then when I got into my 20s and 30s, God started cutting it and he had no problems just peeling it back.
I would guess Stastny still gets No. 1 ice time because of his PP and PK duties, but we'll see. Yeo hasn't said much about his plans. I think Schenn has to show something at center first before we start talking about who's playing more and who's playing with Tarasenko.
We'll get to a couple of more questions and then I've got to start studying the track conditions for tonight's Xfinity race.
I hope not. Have you been in that place in a while? I was there for a Monster Jam (don't ask me, my kids like it) and Guns N Rose concert, and let me tell you that there's more energy inside Kutis Funeral Home on Butler Hill Rd.
I haven't seen Schenn enough, so I can only speak about Fabbri. I think he can play center. He knows the position, playing it most of his career before the NHL, and now he knows what it's like to play at this level. With his speed and instincts, I think he'll be able to handle it.
Yeah, real good. If I'm not mistaken, he helped with the analysis from the bench as the backup goalie in Nashville DURING THE GAME. He'll be on the media side one day.
The simple answer: they've been doing it their whole life ... either they dump the puck in or the other team is changing, etc. There are spots that are obvious times for shift changes, especially when you're trying to keep them to 40-50 seconds.
The longer this goes on, you never know, but I don't think so.
No raise necessary, it gives us all something to do with our time in the offseason. Thanks for reading!
And thanks to the rest of you as well. We'll shut it down here and pick up next Friday. Have a great weekend!