The St. Louis Blues are set to have a somewhat busy offseason, but it won’t be in search of new players. Blues GM Doug Armstrong has indicated that his focus is going to be on keeping the current team together. To do that, Armstrong is going to have to get Tom Stillman to open up his checkbook.
So what exactly does Armstrong have to do in the next month or so….
|Player||Cap Number||2012-13 Salary||FA Type||What Should the Blues Do?|
|Alex Pietrangelo||$3,167,000||$787,000||RFA||Pietrangelo is a must sign player. Armstrong will most likely lock him up beofre free agency begins.|
|Chris Stewart||$3,000,000||$3,000,000||RFA||Chris Stewart earned another contract with the Blues, but at a price. Armstrong will look to lock him up on a budget.|
|Jake Allen||$2,450,000||$787,000||RFA||Jake Allen isn’t going anywhere, but I would expect him to be on a two-way contract again.|
|Patrik Berglund||$2,250,000||$2,400,000||RFA||Berglund was spotty all season and in the playoffs. I think Armstrong gives him a one year prove it deal, but could be used as trade bait.|
|Kevin Shattenkirk||$1,300,000||$875,000||RFA||Shattenkirk is in the same boat as Pietrangelo, he is a must sign. Armstrong will lock him up quickly.|
|Kris Russell||$1,300,000||$1,300,000||RFA||Kris Russell has run out of room with the Blues, but Armstrong is not willing to sacrifice depth. Russell will most likely be back on a one year deal.|
|Ian Cole||$1,300,000||$875,000||RFA||Ian Cole will be back with the Blues, but he won’t get much of a raise. Consider him the secenth man out back.|
|Tyler Shattock||$900,000||$640,000||RFA||Shattock should be back in the AHL next season, but isn’t essential to anyone. Armstrong won’t let him go for nothing though.|
|Cade Fairchild||$875,000||$637,000||RFA||Fairchild should get another two-way contract. With time to develop he could make the NHL team.|
|Philip McRae||$854,000||$787,000||RFA||McRae was seen as close to the NHL a few seasons ago, but there is no room on the roster for him now. He could be moved, but will probably be back in the AHL.|
|Evgeny Grachev||$817,000||$787,000||RFA||Grachev has been close to the NHL and played a decent amount of games with the Blues last season. I don’t think they will give up on him yet.|
|Paul Karpowich||$800,000||$680,000||RFA||With Binnington coming up, I would expect the Blues to move or let Karpowich walk, unless Halak or Elliott is moved|
|Brett Sonne||$660,000||$660,000||RFA||Sonne is a solid AHL guy, look for him to be with the Chicago Wolves next season as he will be a cheap signing for Armstrong.|
|Anthony Nigro||$592,000||$600,000||RFA||Nigro is a lot like Sonne, I see him getting another deal with the Blues, but it is probably his last.|
|Jay Barriball||$578,000||$578,000||RFA||Barriball might get moved or they could let him walk. He isn’t of much value to the team.|
|Taylor Chorney||$575,000||$575,000||RFA||Chorney is considered a guy that could be called up if needed. I think Armstrong re-signs him to a two-way deal.|
|Stefan Della Rovere||$570,000||$550,000||RFA||Della Rovere will probably be kept around as well. He has some upside, but won’t be in the NHL soon.|
|Andy McDonald||$4,700,000||$4,200,000||UFA||McDonald’s time as a Blue has almost surely come to an end. With his play this season and in the playoffs, it looks like age has taken its tole on Andy Mac.|
|Jamie Langenbrunner||$1,500,000||$1,250,000||UFA||Langenbrunner will probably need to hang up the skates. He seems happy with St. Louis and could be made part of the coaching staff. If he wants to play, look for him to be leaving town.|
|Scott Nichol||$700,000||$650,000||UFA||Nichol was injured at the end of the season and it didn’t look like he was missed. Looks like Nichol will be leaving town at the end of the year.|
|Jeff Woywitka||$700,000||$700,000||UFA||Woywitka is probably on his way out of St. Louis. He never earned a spot on the roster and looks to be extra weight at this point.|
|Andrew Murray||$600,000||$600,000||UFA||Andrew Murray is on his way out of town as well. He never proved that he could play in the NHL and was extra weight for the AHL team.|
|Adam Cracknell||$550,000||$550,000||UFA||Cracknell has earned the right to stay with the Blues, but the question will be if Armstrong thinks he is needed. I think we will see him back on a two-way deal and will be called up when needed.|
|Mike McKenna||$525,000||$525,000||UFA||McKenna played fairly well without Allen in Peoria, but he seems like an extra guy if Halak and Elliott are here to stay. I think he will be looking for a new home.|
So who do you think the Blues should resign? Do you think we nailed it above or do you think Armstrong will be making other moves? Let us know if the comments below or on Facebook.
LET’S GO BLUES!