The St. Louis Blues 2010-11 season was one to forget, especially given the number of unfortunate injuries. The Blues continue to be on the rise because of strong drafting and cultivation of their young players. This offseason will be relatively uneventful for Blues fans, as the team will likely focus on re-signing their own players.
Jaroslav Halak had a decent first season in St. Louis, but he is more than capable of being one of the top 10 goalies in the league. The gigantic Ben Bishop (6’7!) is deemed ready to be a backup goalie at the NHL level. On defense, the Blues have 6 returning defensemen, and top prospect Ian Cole is waiting in the wings as well. Up front, Chris Stewart (acquired in the Erik Johnson trade) could score 30-35 goals for the Blues. David Perron will hopefully be healthy after missing 72 games last year. The Blues are also hoping for full seasons out of TJ Oshie (current RFA) and Andy McDonald, both of whom missed significant time in 2010-11 due to injuries. While St. Louis waits for Tarasenko and Schwartz, rookies Della Rovere and McRae will get long looks for full time spots. Other than a few low profile signings, St. Louis will count on a healthy roster as their major roster upgrade.
The St. Louis Blues will have close to $20M in cap space after re-signing Ben Bishop and TJ Oshie. More importantly, they will need to spend a minimum of $4M just to reach the cap floor. That won’t be a problem, as the Bues have 2 needs to address on July 1. First of all; they were expecting to sign Matt D’Agostini (and still might), but if that doesn’t work out, look for them to sign a top 9 UFA winger who will command $1.5 to $2.5 million. Also; with a young defense, and with Jackman and Colaiacovo on expiring contracts, the Blues will also be in the market for a veteran #4/#5 defenseman. Expect them to spend $2.0-$2.5 million on someone who fits that description.
ST. LOUIS BLUES 2011-12 ROSTER (using CAPGEEK CAP CALCULATOR)
David Perron ($2.150m) / David Backes ($4.500m) / Chris Stewart ($2.875m)
Patrik Berglund ($2.250m) / Andy McDonald ($4.700m) / T.J. Oshie ($2.500m EST)
Alexander Steen ($3.362m) / Vladimir Sobotka ($1.300m) / 3RD LINE W ($0.000m)
Stefan Della Rovere ($0.570m) / Philip McRae ($0.854m) / B.J. Crombeen ($1.000m)
Chris Porter ($0.600m)
Carlo Colaiacovo ($2.125m) / Alex Pietrangelo ($3.166m)
Barret Jackman ($3.625m) / Kevin Shattenkirk ($1.300m)
VETERAN D-MAN ($0.000m) / Roman Polak ($2.750m)
Nikita Nikitin ($0.600m)
Jaroslav Halak ($3.750m) / Ben Bishop ($0.700m EST)
SALARY CAP: $64,300,000
CAP PAYROLL: $44,678,332
CAP SPACE: $19,621,668
The St. Louis Blues will in all likelihood be in the 7-10 range in the Western Conference; meaning they will either just make or just miss the playoffs. The difference between the Blues and some of the other teams in that grouping is that St. Louis is a franchise that is on the rise, and it won’t be long until they are among one of the teams that makes the playoffs year after year. Until then, fans can just hope and pray that the team can stay healthy, unlike last season.
About the Author
Written by Corey Krakower
I am the Director of NHL Content & Habs writer for ProSportsBlogging.com; I have spent 8 seasons behind the bench as a minor hockey coach; and I am the future GM of the Montreal Canadiens (according to my mom). I spend my days managing the Harrow Sports brand in my hometown of Montreal and I moonlight as a Hockey Advisor for Pi Athlete Management. Most importantly, I'll throw anyone under the bus for a laugh.