Hey, we're having a Blues chat in July talking about a team that just won the Stanley Cup. At this point in time, anything goes on the crazy front.
Not as much as they could have gotten earlier. He'd be a rental this season for someone, so you're not talking getting appreciable talent in return. And if the Blues can't sign him, it's better for them to look at him as a rental and hang on to him. But I think they'll do as much as they can to re-sign him.
I think the Blues think far more highly of Alexander Steen's worth to the team than most of the fan base does.
Teams can carry either 22 or 23 players during the season, and suit up 20 every night. So you're talking two or three healthy scratches, usually two forwards and one defenseman every night. Though there were points last season when the Blues had eight healthy defensemen, back in the Jordan Schmaltz era.
Yes. The Blues turned that fourth line into a good little unit last season, and I think they'll want to continue that. Steen could get an occasional promotion up the lineup every now and then when someone's hurt, though he's at a point in his career where he's more likely to be the guy who's hurt. His game is well suited to the playoffs, so I think the Blues are well served to keep him fresh for the latter stages.
I'll take the overs on that. Winter Classic did well and Blues fans will show up. The league will probably want to leave a gap after the All-Star Game here next year, so maybe in two or three years.
I don't know if that clause is still there, but it was a long time ago when the NHL did that. I remember the Kings playing in Las Vegas.
Yes. The Winter Classic is the game played on Jan. 1 (or 2). The Stadium Series is an outdoor game played at another time. This year, they're playing one at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. In 2014, the league had four of them. Most of the time, it's just one per year.
I haven't heard any reason. Last year, the Blues played a game with Minnesota at the Wild's AHL team in Iowa, and this season they go to the Hockeyville game in a remote corner of Michigan. There may be a limit on how many off-the-beaten path games they want to play. Also, skipping a year every now and then probably keeps the attendance up for when they go. Playing ever year may dampen attendance.
Eight million for a goalie for the Blues would be out of character and would probably require a pretty specific set of facts: a proven world-class goalie who could play 60 or more games and a quality backup who wasn't making a lot of money. Problem is, a lot of the time you don't know how good that backup is until you need him. Carter Hutton certainly exceeded expectations, much to Hutton's benefit. Chad Johnson did not. But without Chad Johnson, we wouldn't have had Jordan Binnington.
As long as there's an outdoor game, the NHL will send the Blackhawks.
Contracts for big dollars and big years are always risky, especially when a player is well into his career. Sometimes, you've got to pay that though. Way back when I covered the Los Angeles Clippers, their owner, Donald Sterling, didn't want to over pay guys. So he underpaid everyone and had terrible teams for years. It's like being a third-base coach. You have to get someone thrown out at the plate every now and then or you're leaving money on the table. (I am currently at a loss for a football analogy.) So if you make these deals, you have to hope you don't get burned on more than one of them, because then you're looking at a lot of dead money. But also,with the inevitable rise in contract dollars, a ridiculous number now doesn't look so bad at the end of the deal. But only if the guy is still producing.
As said before, less passing, more shooting, and more players in position to take one-timers. The team just has to develop a more aggressive mindset and stop waiting for the perfect play.
By the way, there was a question last week about why the Blues chose arbitration for Husso, since the sides obviously can't be that far apart. Armstrong told me it's because the team was expecting a lot of distractions in camp in the fall coming off winning the Cup and wanted to minimize them wherever they could, so they wanted to be sure everyone was in camp on time. By going to arbitration with Husso, it ensures he'll be in camp when it opens.
Some NHL players live or lived on farms. Case closed.