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Category: St-Louis-Blues

The Blues Would Like To Make Some Moves

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Utterly disappointed with another playoff failure, change is in the offing within their core roster if there’s a deal that makes sense. Word is the Blues would like to move apples for apples in any deal, which is a very difficult thing to do in the cap system, particularly in a summer when so many teams are looking to shed salary, not add any.

But if there’s a deal out there that makes sense, word from rival executives is that the Blues are more open-minded than ever to move one of their long-standing core guys, whether that’s David Backes, T.J. Oshie, Patrik Berglund or other veterans.

read on

Some of this trade talk may be just a wake-up call for some of the players.

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Barrett Jackman May Be A Fit For The Chicago Blackhawks

Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch held an online chat today...

Do you think that the Blackhawks and Joel Quennville will have any interest in signing Barrett Jackman? It seemed that the hawks did have some concerns about their defense.

Honestly, I think Jackman makes a ton of sense in Chicago. He's exactly what they need, a veteran guy who's willing to play in the third pair and not cost a ton of money. His relationships with Quenneville and Kitchen would make this move even more obvious. I know Chicago has cap issues going into next season and maybe they can't pay $3 million for a third-pair guy, but if they can figure that out, it makes a lot of sense and I would almost be surprised if it doesn't happen. For the record, I asked Jackman about this and he said it would be VERY hard to put that jersey on.

many more Blues related questions and answers...

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: barrett+jackman

Vladimir Tarasenko Will Be Well Paid

from Jeremy P. Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Time remains to reach an agreement, but with Tarasenko eligible to receive outside offer sheets beginning July 1, and with Armstrong’s vow that the contract be completed before the club follows up on any other plans, a resolution is of the essence.

Not so, says Armstrong.

“(Tarasenko) knows he’s going to be here, we know he’s going to be here,” Armstrong told the Post-Dispatch. “When it happens, it happens.”

Tarasenko, 23, will be wrapping up his entry-level contract at the end of this month, making him an RFA. In three years, he produced 66 goals and 135 points in 179 regular-season games, while posting 10 goals and 11 points in 13 playoff games.

A campaign of 37 goals and 73 points in the 2014-15 regular season placed Tarasenko in the top 10 in the NHL in both categories. He followed that up with six goals and seven points in the team’s first-round playoff series loss to Minnesota.

They are numbers that could take the right winger from his entry-level base salary of $900,000 (excluding bonuses) to among the team’s top-paid players next season — in the neighborhood of center Paul Stastny ($7 million) and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo ($6.5 million).

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vladimir+tarasenko

Barret Jackman Will Be Available On July 1st

from Jeremy P. Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

The career of the longest-tenured current professional athlete in St. Louis sports is coming to an end.

The Blues have notified Blues defenseman Barret Jackman, 34, that they will be going in a "different direction" and thus not re-signing him this offseason.

Jackman, whose three-year, $9.5 million contract expires on June 30, will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He will be allowed to sign with another organization without compensation.

Jackman was not immediately available for comment Thursday.

In a postseason interview with the Post-Dispatch, prior to meeting with the Blues regarding his future, Jackman said he remained interested in continuing his career, if not here, somewhere. 


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: barret+jackman

Changes Needed To Be Made In St. Louis

from Jeremy P. Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

It would be a difficult sell for the Blues to open training camp in September with the same group that made its fan base soon forget a Central Division championship by bowing out in a six-game loss to the Wild. And now that Armstrong has, in part, absolved Hitchcock, the pressure will shift on the GM to see what he can do to alter the club’s composition.

“I don’t see it that way,” Armstrong said. “I think it’s a good coaching staff, that’s why they’re coming back. I know there’s going to be four or five changes already just based on free agency and the age of players. The team that wins the Stanley Cup is probably going to have four or five roster changes. It’s just the nature of a salary-cap system. So we are going to have a different look.”

Much of the fan focus has been centered on disassembling the Blues’ core, a group that many identify as including David Backes, Alexander Steen, T.J. Oshie, Patrik Berglund and Barret Jackman.

Backes has one season left on his five-year contract, while Steen, Oshie and Berglund each have two years remaining on their deals. Jackman will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

In reality, this is not the club’s complete core, but a mixture of a few key players and a collection of the old guard that has been involved in the string of postseason failures.


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The St. Louis Blues Plan To Be A Different Team

from Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

“We are going to have a different look,” Armstrong said. “We’re going to explore improving our team to levels we probably haven’t explored in the past. But it has to make sense.”

The word Hitchcock kept coming back to describe it Tuesday was “reckless,” and he must have believed it because he used it five times in the span of 85 words at one point. Recklessness, he admitted, has the potential to be a lot of fun and can also give a coach more gray hairs, which brought a smirk to the face of Armstrong, sitting next to Hitchcock, as he no doubt was trying to figure if Hitchcock had any hair that hadn’t already turned gray.

“We’ve got to go back to reckless,” Hitchcock said. “(Our style is) too conservative, it’s too careful, it’s too much skill ahead of work. We’ve got to get back to reckless. We’ve got more skill than we’ve ever had since I’ve been here. But skilled, careful hockey doesn’t win. You’ve got to play reckless. We need to get back to the reckless play we had before. That’s what Doug and I talked about. You can do it and still be responsible. But we’ve got to get back to reckless play. We’ve got to ask more people to be involved offensively and defensively.”

Armstrong pointed to two defensemen on the roster who didn’t see action in the playoffs as examples of what the team is looking for: Robert Bortuzzo and Petteri Lindbohm. He mentioned the names of forwards Ty Rattie and Robby Fabbri as youngsters who will get long looks early in the season.


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Afternoon Line- Doug Armstrong

Army on whether Babcock reports impact Hitchcock's ability to lead the Blues: "Not really. I think the players live in the modern ... 

world of social media. When you look over the season, the number of things you read, if 1/10th of that ever came true, I'd be shocked.

I think it's the media's job responsibility to sometimes report the facts and sometimes make stuff up because it's good story."

-via Jeremy Ruthorford tweets.

added 4:36pm

More from Rutherford at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on the press conference with Armstong and Hitchcock today.

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: doug+armstrong

Players The St. Louis Blues Could Move

from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Defenseman Jay Bouwmeester was a huge disappointment, but his contract makes moving him difficult.

T.J Oshie seems like an obvious target, given his high trade value, significant salary and unproductive playoff.  He also had the temerity to suggest that maybe, just maybe, the team was subjected to information overload.

Patrik Berglund had a couple of big playoff moments, but that scarcely helped fans forget his ineffective regular season. As Armstrong looks for ways to create payroll flexibility, Berglund's roster spot would be a good place to start.

It would be great to see venerable defenseman Barret Jackman finish his career where it started, but there is no room for sentimentality when a team keeps coming up short in the playoffs.

Armstrong could do something much bigger and trade previously untouchable players.Again, the core group of this team is clearly in transition.

An interesting summer awaits this franchise now that Hitchcock is back on board to start another year.


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A One-Year Contract For Ken Hitchcock In St. Louis

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the club and Head Coach Ken Hitchcock have agreed on a one-year contract.
Hitchcock, 63, was originally named the 24th head coach in Blues history on Nov. 7, 2011.  Since, he has guided the Blues to four straight postseason appearances, three 100-point regular season campaigns and two Central Division championships.  In 2014-15, he captured his second Central Division title with the club, while logging the third-best regular season record in franchise history (51-24-7, 109 pts).

During Hitchcock’s four-year tenure, the Blues have posted the NHL’s best regular season record (175-79-27, .671) and achieved three of the top four regular season records in franchise history.  Hitchcock’s success has landed him second on the club’s all-time wins list and first in terms of points percentage (.671).  Hitchcock has reached several milestones behind the Blues’ bench including Mar. 12, 2015, when he became the fourth coach in NHL history to reach 700 career regular season wins.  In addition, in the Blues’ Central Division-winning 2011-12 campaign, he became just the fourth head coach in franchise history to receive the NHL’s Jack Adams Award as the League’s best coach. 

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+hitchcock

The Latest On Ken Hitchcock

from Norm Sanders of the News-Democrat,

While he indicated Thursday he has been having discussions with current St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock since the season ended, General Manager Doug Armstrong refused to shed any light on the team’s coaching situation.

Hitchcock’s contract expires in June and the Blues reportedly explored the possibility of bringing in former Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock. Media reports suggested that Babcock had talks with the Blues, Red Wings and Buffalo Sabres before deciding to sign a record-breaking eight-year, $50 million contract to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs.

During a conference call with reporters Thursday to discuss the hiring of new assistant general manager Martin Brodeur, Armstrong was asked specifically if he knew whether Hitchcock would be brought back as head coach of the Blues next season.

“You’re trying to put words in my mouth,” Armstrong said. “When I have something to communicate, I will.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+hitchcock

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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