3 St. Louis Blues players who shouldn’t return next season

The St. Louis Blues could see some roster movement this offseason with a few enticing players looking to prove they belong with the NHL club come October.

St Louis Blues v Ottawa Senators
St Louis Blues v Ottawa Senators / Chris Tanouye/Freestyle Photo/GettyImages
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Kasperi Kapanen has been serviceable, but there are better options

A waiver claim pickup from the Pittsburgh Penguins last season, Kasperi Kapanen was more than serviceable toward the end of last season when he logged 14 points in 23 games and eight goals. If that were an 82-game season, Kapanen would have had 50 points, so it’s easy to see why he was such a good fit last season in St. Louis. 

But Kapanen hasn’t been as effective this season, with just 20 points and five goals in 63 contests as of March 25th. His average total ice time dropped to 14:40, and the winger’s shooting percentage is less than that of some defensemen at 5.7 percent. 

On the plus side, Kapanen has still been rather physical, and he’s also registered roughly half a takeaway per game. But Kapanen’s GA/60 at even strength is just 2.8, tied for 14th on the team, and his GF/60 is a meager 2.5, also 14th. That said, he’s still effective in the defensive zone at 5-on-5 - 91.6 on-ice save percentage - and he’s also been effective while short-handed. 

But Zachary Bolduc is a younger player with more potential than Kapanen, who will eventually make for a better option. The most sensible move would be to let Kapanen walk and let Bolduc play full-time while going out and signing a more cost-effective option in free agency to fill the bottom line or to provide organizational depth.