NHL Early Look: What Can The Blues Do For An Encore?

by | Jul 11, 2019 | News, NHL | 4 comments

 







4 Comments

  1. Good summary. I would add the Blues style of play might make another Cup run challenging – not sure about Binnington – his contract should reflect how the team feels about him but it probably won’t – arbitration can be very nasty.
    I think they are in tough this year but, hey, they won and winning is forever.

    • St Louis has 3 to sign with $12,420,406 cap space – before they can even think about a repeat they have to find a way to get all of (last cap hit shown) Binnington G ($650,000 – 32gp 1.89 gaa – 0.927 save % – playoffs 2.46 gaa – 0.914 save %), Edmundson D ($3 mil – 1g 9a 11 pts – playoffs 1g 6a 7 pts), Sundqvist C/RW ($700,000 – 14g 17a 31 pts – playoffs 4g 5a 9 pts), Barbashev C ($741,667 – 14g 12a 26 pts – playoffs 3g 3a 6 pts) all signed.

      You have to think Binnington and Edmundson will eat up a lot of that space, with Sundqvist and Barbashev alaso looking for healthy increases. Like Toronto and Boston, CapFriendly also shows several players in their main roster who will probably start in the AHL, but also like those others, the salaries are minimal and likely don’t add up to enough to cover them all. Then they need to find bodies in the 23-man list to fit with what money they have left (if any), Fabbri will likely be let go.

      • I don’t think Edmundson will use up as much of the cap space as you think. He had a really good year in 17-18 but seemed to lose a lot of steam and was a healthy scratch for 4 playoff games (ice time went from 16.32 to 19.23). I feel like he went from a top 4 to barely on the map with those healthy scratches. 2018-19 was a bad year for him to have a bad year. This may be a little extreme but I don’t think his new contract should be for any more than his old one.

  2. As a life-long Blues fan, I must respectfully disagree with some of Mr. Duff’s conclusions. It is true that winning back to back Stanley Cups is very difficult nowadays and the chances of the Blues winning the Cup next year are slim. But as everyone says, make the playoffs and anything can happen.

    The biggest question mark is how Jordan Binnington plays in the future, will he be a one-hit wonder. He has had a very good record in the minors and continued that level of play once reaching the NHL. The odds are good that he will continue to be an above-average goaltender; I don’t think anyone expects him to be on par with Dryden, Roy or Brodeur. But having a solid above-average goaltender is something that the Blues have been lacking for years and Binnington should remedy that long-standing problem.

    I think the fact that the Blues do not have any future HOFer’s is actually a plus rather than a negative. The overall balance of the team prevented its opponents from focusing on shutting down one line, other lines was able to pick up the slack. Also, we have seen how the Blackhawks have had problems putting together a balanced team once Toews and Kane received their gigantic pay increases. Outsized pay increases to a few players makes it so much more difficult to reward the other team members and retain their services. The same thing happened to the Kings; about the only recent Cup winner that hasn’t experienced that problem has been the Penguins. Without those outsized pay raises going to star players, the Blues should be able to accommodate their core and maintain a balanced roster.

    Of the 4 RFA players, I doubt any of them will actually go to arbitration but the critical piece is how much it will cost to sign Binnington. If he is looking for $6-7 million per year (the going rate for an establishing starting goaltender), it will definitely be difficult to sign the other three. If he signs for around $3-4 million per year (comparable to other young goaltenders) then signing the other three isn’t that big of a lift. While these three players were contributors to winning the Cup, losing one will not severely damage the overall balance of the team.
    The Blues have a number of young players waiting in the minors for a chance to prove themselves and could fill one of these vacancies.

    I agree that winning back to back Cups will be difficult but the Blues should be Cup contenders for the foreseeable future as their core is young and intact and should remain that way for the next few years. Let’s Go Blues!