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yave1964

St. Louis Blues offseason report

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2016-17 A QUICK LOOK BACK:St. Louis Blues v Chicago Blackhawks Game 2
  The Blues entered the season hoping that Jake Allen was ready to become the teams full time goalie and that they could replace departed captain David Backes with Lehtera and Stastny from within. They considered themselves to be a contender.

  The team started slowly and coach Hitchcock who had announced it was his final year was let go. They struggled with the decision as to what to do with UFA to be Shattenkirk, finally deciding to deal him for picks and prospects to the Capitals, essentially throwing in the towel on the season. To everyones (including GM Armstrong tho I doubt he would admit it) surprise, they hung around, upsetting the Wild in the first round before bowing out to the Preds in the second round. 

  Taresenko continues to be a man among boys and Jaden Schwartz was brilliant last year as well especially down the stretch, they put up great numbers in spite of having no real center. Stastny started hot then faded badly, Lehtera was awful. Patrik Berglund was okay but is more of a winger playing center. Alex Pietrangelo continues to be among the most underrated players in hockey, he may be the best 5 on 5 defender in the game today. Robbi Fabbri looks like a player. jake Allen was good then bad then good again, at one point losing the starting job to career backup Carter Hutton before coming on late. Forwards Ykupov and Jaskins were given every chance to take a job and run with it and bombed badly.

  At seasons end they dealt Lehtera to the Flyers for Brayden Schenn hoping he will bring his 30 goal scoring ability to the top six and improve the team. They are actively searching for at least one top six center. David Perron was lost in the expansion draft.

 

FREE AGENTS:

 

Yakupov was not tendered and will be gone. Paajarvi will follow him out of town as will Scottie Upshall. All will be easily replaced and quickly forgotten.

 

  The one player who they need to make happy is RFA Colton Pareyko who has made it clear that he wants paid and is willing to listen to offers elsewhere. Toronto is rumored to be considering offer sheeting him. The Blues cannot afford to lose him.

 

OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS:

 

1) CAN THEY ADD A CENTER? 

Dont tell me Schenn, Flyer fans will tell you that he is a wing and a good one, playing him at center is playing him badly out of position, he has failed over and over in that role. 

  Returnees Stastny and Brodziak are not the answer, Berglund can play center, probably a bit better than Schenn but puts up his best numbers in a less demanding role. 

 

2) IS JAKE ALLEN THE ANSWER?

 

Yes, if the question is who is the most maddening player on the Blues today. He was awful, Carter Hutton for God's sake took his job, then he was very good, stole a series from the Wild with great play and looks like he secured the starting job. I am not a fan and think that as long as the job is his the roller coaster ride will continue.

 

3) ARE THEY CONTENDERS?

 

They traded Shatty and went as far in the playoffs as his new team the Capitals did. IMHO they pulled together and went on a run because nobody believed in them after losing Shattenkirk, Backes and Hitch so they played with a chip on their shoulders and overachieved.

  I think the division will take a hit this year, Chicago is slipping, Nashville will discover what losing teams in the SCF always run into with a cup hangover the Wild have to be mentally drained after a great year ended so quickly sosure the Blues have as good a shot as any. Adding Schenn makes them at least a little better on paper.

 

  I just do not see it. I think they are going to at best fight for  a lower end playoff spot, at worst be an also ran by January.

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Well at least...

 

...they have their #1 center:hehe:

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      Well at least...   ...they have their #1 center

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