I don't know how you can go wrong with Nashville/Winnipeg or Winnipeg/Nashville as the top two teams in the West. Maybe I'm selling Vegas short (again), but I just can't see them repeating their fairy tale ride of last season. In the East, Tampa Bay makes a lot of sense. But I'd keep an eye on Toronto as well now that they have Tavares.
Given the Blues' ultra-tight cap situation and Pacioretty's $4.5 million cap hit this season, the Blues would have to jettison a player or players to create cap space. And the players you might be thinking of, such as Steen ($5.75 million) and Bouwmeester ($5.4 million) might not be players Montreal would be interested in because of their age. So I have a hard time seeing it happen. Then again, I didn't think the Blues would be able to squeeze Maroon onto the roster and under the cap.
Well, I know which one I wouldn't push! And I think you can figure that one out.
I have wondered if the Blues are fast enough. But I will also say that the Stanley Cup playoffs in my opinion got more physical as each round progressed, and there is still a need in the game for size and physical play.
A voice of reason here. . . .
Throw in Jordan Schmaltz _ I think he's under contract when all is said and done _ and the Blues have eight solid candidates for the varsity. Does Jake Walman make a move this camp? Remember last year at this time, he was almost universally thought to be ahead of Vince Dunn? And the next tier also includes Mitch Reinke and Tyler Wotherspoon (an offseason pickup, who I believe has played 30 games with Calgary and is 25). So yeah, if the Blues have more than two injuries at the same time on the D-corps, there could be a little bit of a issue.
I get the sense Kyrou is not untouchable. But they're not going to give him away for the proverbial bag of pucks, either.
Yeah, I watched all of the Memorial Cup games involving Thomas that were televised and I thought he was one of the best players on the ice every night. He seems to have a pretty well-rounded game, and seems to be a sturdy player who doesn't shy away from the physical stuff. Pretty good strength it seems for a youngster. And keep in mind, he was playing with a bum ankle at the time. Again, it's not for me to decide, but I don't see how juniors helps him. Remember, if he shows he's up to it, it's possible he could be moved up to a higher line with the Blues (per Doug Armstrong).
Just a quick infomercial on upcoming stories. We'll have a Robby Fabbri story in Thursday's Post-Dispatch and something on Joel Edmundson for Saturday. We also have an advance story scheduled for Friday's paper for the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich. As always, these stories usually are posted online around midnight (sometimes earlier). Really, hockey season is underway for the Post-Dispatch. We had our planning meeting today on our annual Blues preview section, and we're excited about that. The preview section is scheduled for a Sunday, Sept. 30 publication.
OK, I see no other questions _ we have gone two hours _ so we'll call it a chat. Look for my hockey mentor Tom Timmermann on next week's chat _ I'll be traveling and unavailable. It's a 1 p.m. faceoff next Wednesday.