St. Louis Blues
|2016-17 season: 46-29-7, 99 points
Defeated Minnesota 4-1 in the First Round
Lost to Nashville 4-2 in the Conference Semifinals
|Head Coach: Mike Yeo (2017)|
|3rd Place Central Division||General Manager: Doug Armstrong (2010)|
|5th Place Western Conference||AHL Affiliate: Chicago Wolves
ECHL Affiliate: None
|Draft Position: 20th|
|POS||Age||Name||Games Started||W/L Record||Shutouts||GAA||Save %|
Trades Made During the Season
|What They Acquired||Team They Traded With||In Exchange For|
|F Zach Sanford
LW Brad Malone
2017 1st RD Pick
2nd RD Pick
|Washington Capitals||D Kevin Shattenkirk
G Pheonix Copley
|F Nail Yakupov||Edmonton Oilers||F Zach Pochiro
Conditional 2017 3rd RD Pick
Impending Free Agents
|POS||Age||Name||2016-17 Cap Hit|
- After losing David Backes and T.J. Oshie in recent offseasons, the Blues have yet to truly be able to replace their production levels. They have been able to get borderline unexpected output from Robby Fabbri and Vladimir Sobotka in his return from the KHL this season. The team’s front office made the decidsion to move forward with Alex Pietrangelo instead of Kevin Shattenkirk so the core of their defense is pretty well set in stone for the foreseeable future. I think that they need to address the position of center in this year’s draft after the loss of Backes and Oshie who can both play down the middle. They have two first round picks in the upcoming draft after acquiring Washington’s first round pick in the Kevin Shattenkirk trade. They can make a substantial impact on their farm system and depth by adding two potentially impact forwards in the draft.
What I Said About Them Before the Season
- I was a big believer in what the Blues did last offseason and actually projected them to be a serious Stanley Cup contender. I thought that finally giving goaltender Jake Allen the opportunity to be the full-time starter in St. Louis was a big deal. I also thought that having a healthy Jaden Schwartz would go a long way to providing a depth of scoring that not many teams can match. My biggest question marks for the team this season were what their coaching situation would look like, what they do with Kevin Shattenkirk, and how were they going to replace David Backes?
- Success – The Blues may not have advanced as far in the playoffs this season as they did last year nor did they have the same level of regular season success, but this season was still a success. They fired head coach Ken Hitchcock during the season and traded Kevin Shattenkirk at the trade deadline and were still able to make the playoffs, even winning a round before being defeated by a strong Nashville team. It appeared around the trade deadline that the Blues were punting on the season when they switched coaches and got rid of one of their best defensemen, yet they were able to bounceback and entered the playoffs as one of the hottest teams in the league. They also seemed to have fixed their goaltending issues by allowing Jake Allen to be their full-time starter, even though he struggled at the start of the season. Following the firing of Hitchcock and allowing Allen the chance to work with goaltending legend Martin Brodeur, Allen bounced back and was borderline elite in the first round of the playoffs. The Blues became a much better team than last year’s version and now has a lot of forward depth plus their defense has continued to develop into the players they were projected to be.
- Although the Blues will lose virtually no value to free agency this offseason, they do have to work out a new contract for Colton Parayko, who developed into one of the team’s best defensemen this season. The team has around $4.5 million in cap space for next season and they will have find some flexibility in order to re-sign Parayko, whose contract will have an AAV of at least $4.5 million. I’m not certain how they are going to create this cap space but I would guess that they are betting on freeing up some space in the Expansion Draft. I think that GM Doug Armstrong will attempt to send a pick or prospect to Vegas to take either David Perron or Jay Bouwmeester off their books. The Blues would probably like to keep both of these players but the team needs to free up cap space. The amount of money they free up will basically go to re-sign Parayko and be able to do little else with it. That’s okay, however, as the Blues are set up pretty well for the next couple of seasons and should one of the favorites to win the Central Division next season.
*All stats and information came from hockey-reference.com, rosterresource.com, spotrac.com, NHL.com, hockeydb.com, capfriendly.com, tsn.ca, and eliteprospects.com*