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Category: St-Louis-Blues

Blues Ready For A Playoff Push

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

If the Blues can stay reasonably healthy and tap some more of their unfulfilled promise, they could finally make some playoff noise.

The ownership limbo complicated matters, forcing Armstrong to make only short-term moves in free-agency and lean toward short-term contracts on many of his developing players.

But on balance, the Blues appear ready to make their move. Whether they actually succeed will depend on how these questions are answered, in order of importance:

1. Can Jaroslav Halak embrace his goaltending responsibilities and deliver a sturdier and more consistent performance? At times he starred last season, but at times he bled bad goals. The team hopes that better conditioning and sharper focus leads to better results.

2.  Is center Patrik Berglund ready to shine? He progressed last season and starred in international play. This franchise badly needs a cornerstone center to build an offense around. Berglund has the unique size/skill combination to be that player.

read on

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

Another Option For Blues Ownership

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

A new name has emerged as a potential buyer for the Blues.

Max Chambers, a Calgary businessman who was once interested in purchasing the Phoenix Coyotes, has been in discussions with Blues’ ownership recently, a source close to the situation told the Post-Dispatch.

The front man for Chambers’ group is former NHL standout Bryan Trottier, who played 18 seasons in the league and won the Stanley Cup six times as a player and one as an assistant coach.

Chambers entered the picture in the “last few weeks,” the source said, and he has “all the financing in place that would allow him to proceed quickly.”

continued

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

All T.J. Oshie

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

JR: Congratulations on your contract. What was that process like for you?

TJO: “It was tough. The first time for me. I was kind of just sitting back, trying to take it all in ... take it slow. It came down to the wire (before the start of restricted free agency). They threw out a number that we were really comfortable with and felt like it was best for both sides.”

JR: Some Blues fans were hoping that you would signing a long-term deal. Why only one year?

TJO: “It’s a chance for me to prove that I can go away for a summer, have a good summer on my own, working out and training. I was doing all of (Blues strength coach Nelson Ayotte’s) stuff, but I just wanted to prove to them after everything that happened (an unexcused absence at practice, leading to a two-game suspension), that I’ve matured and have grown up. I’m just ready to step in and hopefully play as good as I can for that big contract next year.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: t.j.+oshie

Blues Name Their Captain

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong along with Head Coach Davis Payne announced today the club has named David Backes the 20th captain in franchise history.  In addition, the club named Barret Jackman, Jamie Langenbrunner, Andy McDonald and Alex Steen assistant captains.

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

Time For The Blues To Improve Their Performance On The Ice

from Norm Sanders of the News-Democrat,

“We’re going in with the mindset that we’re going to make the playoffs,” Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong said Thursday. “You should ask the guy behind you what happens if we don’t.”

That would be Blues President John Davidson, who also attended what amounted to a preseason media summit meeting along with coach Davis Payne.

“When we set into this summer, we realized that this is a very important year for this organization,” said Armstrong, whose club finished 10 points out of the playoffs despite a 9-1-2 kickstart to the season. “We’ve gone through a growth process and I think the growing now is over.”

It was a common theme echoed throughout the day.

“We’re as close to a finished product as we’ve been in a number of years,” Armstrong said. “It’s time for us to get that done on the ice. I think our fans have been patient—and it’s time for the organization to reward that patience with a good season.”

read on

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

Outlook On The Blues

from David Kalan of NHL.com,

With strong guidance from Arnott and Langenbrunner and a solid season from Halak, who needs to improve on last season’s .910 save percentage and 2.48 goals-against average, the Blues should, at the very least, be competing for one of the final playoff berths in the West. St. Louis will be challenged by playing in, arguably, the toughest division in the League, as the Central is home to two of the last four Stanley Cup champs in Detroit and Chicago, a very strong team in Nashville and a Columbus team that made several big additions this summer. But the Blues still have an exciting, talented lineup, and there will be little excuse if they’re not in the postseason mix come April.

more on the Blues who will be trying to make the playoffs for the first time in three years…

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

Not The Best Of Times To Sell A Hockey Team

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

Reality, according to the anonymous investment banker, is that there are two serious bidders for the Blues at best and neither is willing to put up enough cash to even cover the $120-million (all currency U.S.) bank debt the current owners have on the team. Caporale declined to say who received requests for bids but multiple sources say the main suitors are two groups led by Blues minority owner Tom Stillman and Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer, who turned his attention to St. Louis when the political shenanigans around the Phoenix Coyotes grew tiresome.

Caporale’s fellow banker thinks another problem is that Blues chairman Dave Checketts is considered a smart operator by people in the sports business. But he was unable to turn the Blues into a steady source of profit since he took over the team in 2006. When buyers see that not even Checketts can make the Blues a going concern, their enthusiasm wanes.

“I think when people look at the financials over the last few years, they will see a positive performance and the team is on an upward trend,” Caporale said in response.

more plus a look at the Dallas situation…

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

Do You Consider St. Louis A “Sleeper” Team In The West?

from Kevin Allen of Rink Raps at USA TODAY,

With NHL training camps a little more than a month away, the St. Louis Blues are my nomination for the team that is probably better than we think. They have missed the playoffs the past two seasons, but they could be the surprise team in the West.

I certainly wouldn’t say they among the Stanley Cup favorites. But it seems as if the Blues have the oportunity to make the kind of rise that the Tampa Bay Lightning made in the East last season.

Why the Blues are a sleeper:

continued

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

Perron Won’t Be Ready For Training Camp

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

The Blues are expecting to begin their 2011-12 season without David Perron, who’s been suffering from post-concussion symptoms since last November when he was hit by San Jose’s Joe Thornton. 
 
“David has shown improvement,” Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said this morning. “But it’s not to the point where he’s ready to come in and work out and start training yet. The improvement took a big jump a few months ago, but it’s been slow and steady now.

continued

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

A Look Back at “The Game” That Created “Hockeytown”

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Alright, I’m sure I’ll take some heat for this, for multiple reasons, but mostly because it goes outside my blog’s rage of coverage which is listed as “everything but the NHL”. In my defense though, this isn’t news; it’s just a retrospective look at some hockey history. Plus, ever since the recent retirement of Chris Osgood, I’ve been thinking about writing about this, and providing my personal perspective on what I feel is one of the most historic games in Detroit Red Wings franchise history, at least among the games that have been played in my lifetime (1987 to present).

As a young kid growing up in Metro-Detroit, I started casually watching hockey in 1991 - mostly the Red Wings; although I soon developed a love for the Boston Bruins as well, for some unknown reason. Once I watched my first hockey game, I instantly became a fan of the sport, as I found it to be far more entertaining and exciting than football, baseball, and basketball. I quickly learned how to skate and then starting playing hockey, but I still wouldn’t consider my young self much more than a moderate fan of hockey… until May 16, 1996… when St. Louis played Detroit in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, NHL Talk, Old School, Doug Miller, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+osgood, hockeytown, jon+casey, steve+yzerman

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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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