Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. :Louis Post-Dispatch,
The Blues plan to be fiscally responsible again this year. They signed free agent Paul Kariya to a three-year, $18 million contract last season but don’t plan to be as busy on July 1. The club is sticking with its plan of building from within.
“I think we’re going to be pretty quiet ... but you never know,” Checketts said. “What I don’t want to do is prevent somebody from getting some (ice) time out there that is going to grow and really develop into a player.”
The Blues had a payroll of $45 million last season with a $50.3 million cap, and they have committed about $48 million toward next season.
from the Nashville Predators,
The Predators significantly clarified their goaltending situation today, announcing they have reached an agreement in principle with Dan Ellis on a multi-year deal and then trading Chris Mason to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a fourth round pick in this year’s draft. The trade gives the Predators nine selections in this year’s Entry Draft, including multiple picks in first, second, and fourth rounds and single picks in the third, fifth, and sixth rounds.
From the St. Louis Blues,
St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today the club has acquired a 2008 3rd round draft pick, 70th overall, from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forward Jamal Mayers.
“I want to thank Jamal for everything he has done for the Blues and the city of St. Louis,” said Davidson. “We wish Jamal and his family nothing but the best in his hometown of Toronto.”
added 7:18am (Paul), from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Blues President John Davidson said the trade of Jamal Mayers late Thursday night is a precursor of something else that could happen today.
“It’s all part of us trying to put stuff together and we’re not done yet,” Davidson said. “This is the start of something ... that’s the best way of saying it. We’ve got other stuff going on, but can’t say anything because it’s not finalized. We’ll try and get that done (today).’‘
Davidson added: “I don’t want people to think we just traded Jamal Mayers for a draft pick and that’s the end of us. The more we work toward putting something else together, the more the draft pick position could become a part of (tonight’s) action. We’re working it here and we feel we’re getting close.”
from Norm Sanders of the News-Democrat,
The Blues will likely target a backup goalie with NHL experience. Recent trade rumors had them linked with Ottawa goalie Ray Emery and Nashville’s Dan Ellis, so a draft-day deal could be a possibility.
“I think a lot of that will develop once free agency hits,” Davidson said. “You can go and make a trade and get somebody here, that means you’re giving up an asset.
“Or you can see what’s there July 1, and see if you can make a deal.”
Davidson said the ideal candidate would get 20 to 25 games, with Legace handling the bulk of the workload.
From Jeff Gordon at STLtoday.com,
[Doug] Weight is looking to play another year and St. Louis has become home. Is there a fit here?
Maybe, maybe not. I recall that Weight was unhappy with how coach Andy Murray was using him last season, before his deal. Murray saw Weight as more of a role player at this late stage of his career, a designation that Weight resisted.
But if Doug did return to the Blues as a free agent, he would have to embrace a third- or fourth-line assignment if the lines fell that way.
more on the Blues summer priorities
from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Once upon a time, the Blues and Red Wings had a pretty spirited rivalry.
Once upon a time, St. Louis possessed a more consistently competitive team than Detroit did.
More recently, though, the Red Wings have operated a juggernaut while the Blues struggled through an ownership change and the first prolonged funk in franchise history. While the Red Wings added more banners to the Joe Louis Arena rafters, the Blues started over from scratch.
It hasn’t been a happy time for local hockey fans. Watching Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg and Co. hoist the Cup, again, had to be galling for those who bleed Blues
But you had to be happy for former Blues captain Dallas Drake, right?
From the St. Louis Blues,
St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today the club has extended the contract of Sr. Vice President and General Manager, Larry Pleau through the 2009-10 season. Davidson also announced the club has named Doug Armstrong as Blues Vice President of Player Personnel. He will assume the General Manager duties beginning in 2010.
“Larry has been very valuable to this organization for many years,” said Davidson. “Under his watch we have locked up our young players with long term deals and continue to stockpile many up and coming prospects. Doug’s accomplishments in Dallas are quite impressive, with two Western Conference titles, two President’s Trophies and a Stanley Cup.
Sources tell TSN Doug Armstrong is about to join the St Louis Blues.
Armstrong was expected to meet the Toronto Maple Leafs this week to discuss a management position in Toronto, however sources say he has cancelled that meeting and the expectation is that his hire in St Louis will be announced tomorrow.
Armstrong will work alongside veteran Blues general manager Larry Pleau for the next two seasons before assuming the manager’s role when Pleau retires.
From Jeremy Rutherford at Morning Skate at STLtoday.com,
On Wednesday, John Davidson acknowledged that the Blues are talking to Dave Nonis about joining the team’s management staff. This seemed a bit odd since Nonis, recently fired as the general manager of the Vancouver Canucks, is looking to resurface as a GM and has been linked to the vacancy in Toronto.Is Larry Pleau going somewhere? The answer is “No” and “Yes.”
Pleau, who’s been in the Blues’ GM chair for 10 years, will enter the final month of his contract in June. While it might seem that the Blues are about to relinquish Pleau of his duties or re-assign him within the organization to make room for a guy like Nonis, that is not the case. At least not yet.
Davidson says the Blues need another set of eyes in the sky.
From Jeremy Rutherford at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
[T.J.] Oshie, 21, is expected to make the opening-day roster and infuse some offensive skill on a team that finished tied for 27th in the NHL in goals last season with 205.
The Blues also announced Tuesday the signing of forward Lars Eller, the 13th overall pick in last summer’s draft. Eller will be in camp but is likely to begin next season in Peoria or in Sweden.
“This is the whole program here ... this is our future,” Blues President John Davidson said. “We need our veterans really bad next year. But the kids are going to move forward as the season goes along. It’s going to be fascinating.”
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.
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