Who remembers the old days when we did the chat on Thursday? Thanks for adjusting with me today, as I'll be headed on vacation for a week tomorrow. That means no chat next Friday, so get all your questions in today. We'll be getting started momentarily ...
OK, put another slice of cheese on my burger, put an extra squirt of cheese on my tater tots and topped off the Mountain Dew, so I'll all set. Who's ready? Let's get chattin ...
Brodziak is still under contract with the Blues ... he has another year. You might be thinking of Upshall? If so, I have not seen any news about him re-signing. The Blues said they'd stay in touch with him, but then Army said they'd probably fill the spot from within, so we'll see what happens with him.
I don't think so. If anybody, you'd have to say Nashville. They went to the Cup final, playing the last chunk without Johansen. Dallas did A LOT to improve itself, but they've get that new roster on the ice and see how they mesh. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of talent there now, but there's always an adjustment period.
For those who didn't see the headline, Carolina re-signed defensemen Jaccob Slavin to a seven-year, $37.1 million deal ($5.3 AAV). He's 23, one year younger than Parayko, and has put up 54 points in 145 games which is similar to Parayko (68 points in 160 games). So they're fairly comparable. I think what Slavin got is what we've been saying all along with Parayko, that he'd fall between $5-6 million depending on the term. I haven't heard this from anyone within the Blues organization, but I'd got to believe they would agree to terms like Slavin's in a heart beat. It's going to cost a little more though because he's one year closer to UFA than Slavin was.
Parayko's arbitration date is July 20th, if you haven't heard, so it's coming up soon. I would have to think he'd get closer to $4 million in arbitration case. I'm sure the Blues would argue for less, and they would have a bit of a argument since he's only played two years. But that's my two cents, I think close to $4 million in an arb case, which would be one- or two-year term.
That's tough. I'd like to say Chicago for the reason that I referenced earlier about Dallas. But losing Panarin and Hjalmarsson (and don't forget about Hossa) is going to hurt. Panarin and Kane were so good together. I get that Toews will be better with Saad back, and they still have players who can gel with Kane, but with Panarin we're talking about 158 points in 162 games. That's a lot to lose. And boy is Hjalmarsson so underrated. Not by people in Chicago or teams in the Central who see a lot of him, but most fans around the league don't realize how good he is. He blocks a ton of shots. But Chicago still has a ton of talent and some of their top guys won't be trying to figure out where they fit, like Dallas might be, so I'll say Chicago finishes higher.
My guess is it'll get done. The Blues realize the player he is and they're willing to pay. The two sides can't be that far off. A one- or two-year deal via arbitration wouldn't be an awful situation, but it's always best when the two sides agree to the terms on the own and not a third party. I think it'll get done beforehand. Remember, the two sides can continue to negotiate even AFTER they present their case to the arbitrator. The arbitrator has 48 hours to render a verdict and an extension can still be agreed upon during that window.
I miss them about as much as I miss doing pull-ups in the President's Challenge in grade school with all the girls watching.
Do they have two Crosby's?
I think they're probably done and Army has said as much. If they do anything, I don't think it would be a trick, or surprise. Perhaps they add a veteran bottom-six forward after they sign Parayko, or invite someone like that to camp on a tryout, but I wouldn't think there would be anything more significant than that.
They've got about $8.6 in cap space without Parayko. So even if they got him signed for $5 million per, I don't know if that leaves enough to sign any of those guys and still have some fudge room under the cap. As I said last week, Doan is probably a guy I'd take a look at if he still wants to play, but is Doan playing for $1-2 million?
I would of the guys that were in the Blues' system at the start of last season (not acquired in trades), Barbashev and Schmaltz probably have the best shot at making the opening-night roster after not making it last year.
Parayko has three years left as a RFA. So any contract talks involving more than three years, the Blues are "buying" UFA years. So if you do a two-year deal now and he continues to progress the way he has, that eight-year deal that you're talking about in 2019-20 is going to cost the Blues A LOT of money because you're buying more UFA years.
I surprised that I have a chat and that people actually log in.
Ha, I like the Berube reference. I do think that Paajarvi has a chance. Now, he's going to have to even more consistent than he was the second half of last year, and he has to keep using his speed because that's what makes him different from some of the others on the roster. But if he does that, I think the Blues like him enough to keep in the lineup. The thing is, they've got a lot of young players like Sanford, Barbashev, Sundqvist, etc., that are going to be pushing for ice time. We don't truly know what they're capable of yet, especially playing on a regular basis. I think Paajarvi has the experience edge on them, but he has to be consistent.
I like Kostin, I don't necessarily like his chances of making the team out of camp. He is coming off the shoulder surgery and hasn't "competed" since last December. I think that's asking a lot to play his first game action at the NHL Prospect tournament in Traverse City and then be ready a week later to make the team out of camp. However, with the Blues' minor-league situation, will they have a good spot for him to play (the Wolves, on loan elsewhere, etc.)? If they don't, could they keep Kostin on the roster and practice him and see how fast he catches on? That doesn't seem like a plausible scenario, but who knows. But no, I don't see him somehow being in the top 12-13 forwards when the Blues are ready to start the season. If he'd been healthy the past year, maybe. But then again, if he were healthy the last year, he wouldn't have lasted to No. 31 in the draft and probably wouldn't be a Blue.
I think we'll see him at some point, yes. He had a great year in the AHL last year and whether it be injury or the Blues just want to get a look at him, I think we'll see him at some point.
I'll be interested to see what Agostino does with Boston. I liked him last year with the Blues and like many fans didn't understand why he didn't get more of an opportunity. I realize the Blues had some bodies and they were interested in giving the young guys some playing time. But Agostino proved himself at the AHL level (Player of the year) and to me that warranted more than seven games in a lineup that couldn't score at times. He got the one-way deal ($825,000) from Boston that many thought he'd get somewhere. I don't know that the Blues could have done something like that with him, considering the guys they have under contract and the guys like Barbashev, Sanford, etc., that I mentioned. But it sure would have been nice to see more of him last year. As far as Yakupov, I'll be interested in seeing what Agostino can do with Boston next year.
Well, they have high-priced guys in Tarasenko ($7.5 million) and Stastny ($7 million) and Stastny hasn't produced as many points as you'd like for that money. And then after those two, you have two more making $5 million-plus in Schwartz and Steen, and Schwartz didn't score for a long stretch last year and Steen had a big drop-off with 16 goals and also had a long stretch without any offense. So they're spending some money on the position, as you pointed out, but they need more, even from Tarasenko but especially from the other three. One other thing we can't forget as far as last year went, Lehtera was making $4.7 million and doing nothing offensively for you. Schenn costs a little more than Lehtera, giving the Blues another $5 million guy, but the hope is that he'll produce more.
No, not a chance. I think fans and media put a bigger emphasis on having an affiliate in close proximity (St. Louis, Midwest, etc.) than the Blues do. Remember, teams play half their games on the road, so the AHL team could be in Cleveland and the Blues in Arizona, so just because St. Louis and Chicago are nearby, it doesn't always work out like we're all thinking it does.