Hello again everybody. Still a busy time with the Blues. Berube press conference this morning. Prospect camp practices and scrimmage today. And free agency looming. Sorry for the delay. What's on your minds today.
This prospects camp has a little bit different feel than last year's when players like Jordan Kyrou and Robert Thomas were here although Thomas didn't participate because of an ankle injury. I would say Klim Kostin is the only player here that might make a roster push this season._ and it's interesting he's even here after 2 seasons in San Antonio. Forward Dominik Bokk, a first-rounder from a year ago, probably is a couple of years away.
I kind of doubt that Allen gets moved. Why not bring him back for another year just to make sure you've got the real deal in Binnington. Now don't get me wrong. You never know with Allen. But the Blues appear to be in decent enough cap shape to keep Allen around.
I would think so. Once we hit the start of free agency, July 1, they can start negotiations.
Wouldn't think so. It's basically the BLues' call.
I believe the main upgrade this year concerns only the seats. In past years, they haven't started the upgrades until June, so I don't think they're really behind.
The Blues do not have anything resembling a backup on the roster they would feel comfortable using this year. Ville Husso is coming off an injury-shortened season in San Antonio. Even before he was hurt he wasn't playing well. Evan FItzpatrick, who spent most of his time in Tulsa in the ECHL is at least a couple of years away. And the other goalies in the organization _ 2018 draft pick Joel Hofer and 2019 pick Colten Ellis will be back in juniors this season. As for the other 7th-rounder this year, the Russian Vadim Zherenko, is very much a mystery man. He's not at prospects camp. Don't expect him to be in the U.S. next season, and he's certainly not ready to play. Now with another strong year by Binnington, and a good year by Husso in San Antonio, I would think things might be different a year ago at this time.
Armstrong said that all of the coaches on this year's staff are under contract and will be back. Now the Blues did go through the season short an assistant (after Yeo was fired and Berube moved up) and Armstrong said he and Berube would discuss whether they needed to hire another assistant.
I did some Winnipeg radio a couple of times during Round 1. I got some requests from other cities as the playoff progressed, but turned them down. There was just too much to do covering the team and traveling.
Obviously someone like Edmundson and Binnington this year are a different matter, but RFA's almost always represent cheap labor. After going all this way with Fabbri in his comeback from knee surgeries, why not give him another look this season? Frequently players really return to form the year after they return from knee surgery anyway.
I would be surprised if Gunnarsson's back. I think I mentioned this on an earlier chat, when the Blues re-signed Bouwmeester and Bortuzzo that may have made Gunnarsson the odd man out. Maybe I'm wrong on that. We'll know for sure next week. But without Gunnarsson, they still have Pietrangelo, Parayko, Bortuzzo, Bouwmeester, Dunn and Edmundson (who has been tendered as an RFA). The Blues would like to give the young D-man from Finland _ Niko Mikkola _ every opportunity to make the roster this coming season. He was impressive in camp this past September. They also like Mitch Reinke, who was one of their Black Aces during the playoffs.
Have not heard of any upcoming European trips. But the Blues are playing in a Kraft Hockeyville preseason game this September. Have you ever been to Calumet, Mich.
Doug Armstrong has said as much. The roster is relatively set for next year. I don't think it will be anything like last offseason. Again, you never say never with Armstrong, but the Blues have only two unrestricted free agents of note in Maroon and Gunnarsson. Do they buy out Steen? (I have no feel for that). Do they trade Allen? (I wouldn't think so.) So camp may come down to whether Kyrou or Mikkola make the opening day roster,. Is Blais on the roster from Day 1. Or Fabbri.
I have not heard anything at this point.
I don't think the team has given it much thought, or views it as any kind of issue.
Craig Anderson ($4.75 million) makes more than Jake Allen ($4,35 million), so that wouldn't do the Blues much good.
Try this link on Twitter: @keeperofthecup. It's the Twitter feed of one of the NHL guys that travels around with the Cup
No, I'll be on the radio talking hockey on KTRS. But I believe our columnist Ben Hochman is writing about it.
We'll have more details in a story I'll be writing for tomorrow (after the Chat), but Armstrong said he and Berube agreed not to enter into negotiations until after the season. But Armstrong said he basically made his mind up with about a week left in the regular season., So no, I don't think superstition played into it.
Good question. Maybe the oddsmakers still can't believe that the Blues won.
I'm unaware that they have a close relationship. But no, it would have no effect on whether he stays or goes.