He's too young for any conclusions to be made about him having reached his peak, but clearly his past two seasons have not been as good as 17-18 or 18-19, or during the World Cup of Hockey, where everyone really noticed him. This would be a very good season for him to get back to where he was before, since it will determine his salary for the next few years. If last season's injury is in the past, there shouldn't be any reason he can't play like he did in the past. He's only 28.
It's as though the world has been turned upside down. Still, you've got a better chance of making the NHL if you grow up in Canada.
Armstrong's options are limited at the moment. I think the offensive changes are significant, and while Buchnevich and Saad are solid additions, it remains to be seen the effect of losing Schwartz and, most likely, Bozak. Schwartz brought a lot of energy. It remains to be seen where that comes from. On defense, he's betting on everyone being better. Some of that is because of Mikkola and Walman having earned chances. It's either play them or trade them at this point, because they're not getting through waivers if they get sent down. So then you've got the issue of, can you trade Mikkola or Walman (or Scandella) for a better defenseman but at a price that's similar to what they're being paid? Probably not an easy thing to do. Armstrong is always looking to make deals, it's his job. But we're also at the point where teams aren't looking to unload players as desperately as they were before free agency began. So now you're looking at the classic "hockey trade," which is tougher to put together.
Dunn should get more power play time in Seattle, so that will help his numbers. I think Krug has a better supporting cast, so in the end, he'll have a better season, though I guess it depends ultimately on how you measure it. More goals, more assists, longer playoff run? Or the analytics on isolated impact? Last season, Krug was better on offense, Dunn was better on defense.
I think not. Different management now, but the Blues would have to be putting a big package together.
If you could get Beauvillier back, I'd take than in an instant. Not sure if I see what the Islanders gain in that deal though. As for free agent defensemen on the market nobody really to get excited about. Chara is out there but can't see where he'd have interest in coming to St. Louis. Don't think Erik Gustafsson makes you any better.
Most teams have dance squads who get things going during stoppages, and Vegas brings out showgirls to stand behind the other teams goal during warmups, supposedly as a distraction, but the continuous nature of play makes it difficult to do. The Blue Crew does break out pompons in pregame.
I was surprised when Buchnevich said that during our session with him, and I would love to know how that conversation went.
Haven't heard, though wouldn't be surprised if Saad had dropped by.
Teams that make moves on the basis of pizzazz are probably not making the best move.
I guess if the season is starting and Thomas isn't there, that's the time to panic. I don't think it will come to that. And the Blues have started seasons (or been near the start of the season) without Thomas before, so even then it's probably not time to panic.
OK, thanks to everyone for sticking through after our glitchy start to things. I'm always amazed at the turnout in the summer, and there were some new names in the question file as well, which is always good to see. We'll be back next week with more Blues chat fun. Take care.