The 2023-24 NHL season looks to be a peculiar one for the St. Louis Blues, who seek to get back on track towards the Stanley Cup Playoffs this upcoming season. They’ve brought in some new players, like Kevin Hayes from the Philadelphia Flyers, and brought up some players through the system like G Joel Hofer and others.
Now, with the regular season just about a month or so away, the Blues need some big retooling in a lot of things. But at the very least, one can still make some bold predictions for the Blues to shock everyone this season.
What are these bold estimates? Here’s a list of the most notable.
Brayden Schenn Becomes Captain
Schenn was a good 2nd choice after Ryan O’Reilly became the Blues’ captain from 2020-23. The 6-year-veteran is hands-down the leader in the locker room and has the pulse of the players on the ice.
He also still has five years left on his current contract, which conveniently started back in 2020-21, the same season O’Reilly got the C. One more thing – he’s 32 years of age, giving him plenty of time to continue his 6-year career with St. Louis.
If all these details don’t convince head coach Craig Berube, I don’t know what will.
As for another potential contender for a new captain, Robert Thomas could be a backup if the Schenn plan falls through.
But, he’s only played with St. Louis for his entire career, unlike Schenn. The potential new captain started with the Flyers, like another Blues player, albeit one more recently. Speaking of that…
Kevin Hayes Will Boost Team Chemistry
Hayes was clearly the brightest signing the Blues made in an otherwise quiet 2022-23 off-season. The Flyers veteran brings a stellar playing record and a dedication to playing in the NHL like no other, especially when he made a touching tribute to his younger brother Jimmy. Jimmy Hayes sadly passed away in 2021 due to a drug overdose.
He also had 18 goals in 2022-23, along with 36 assists for 54 total points, and stats like those are something the Blues can definitely benefit from. We’ll see how much the 31-year-old center can help in the lineup, but by all accounts, he’s well-liked and a good presence in the room.
Jordan Binnington Will Have a Career High Save Percentage
Since starting his NHL career in 2018-19, Jordan Binnington has had a stellar save percentage in all of those years, posting in the .900s in all but one year, which happened to be 2022-23. A reasonable estimate for this season may be a .915, higher than his previous record of .912, which occurred in 2018-19 where the Blues obviously won the Cup.
Now I know what you’re thinking: he’s got temper tantrum issues and Joel Hofer could maybe take over someday as the starter. And maybe that having a .915 wouldn’t be as good as some other goalies in the league. Here’s the thing with that last one- while 14 other goalies did do just that last season, it’s because of that trend that Binnington sees himself on that wagon this season. That’s why it’s a trend.
There are a few more bold predictions that one could make for the Blues season, but these are a good starting plate to dig into. As for whether or not they’ll come to fruition, just wait till mid-October or 2 months or so in to see the effects.