32 Teams In 31 Days NHL Team Recaps: St. Louis Blues

Scott Kane/Getty Images

32 Teams In 31 Days NHL Team Recaps: St. Louis Blues

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32 Teams In 31 Days NHL Team Recaps: St. Louis Blues

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Scott Kane/Getty Images

Since winning the Stanley Cup in 2019, the Blues have remained one of the most competitive teams in the Central Division. The Blues had a very strong comeback season, much remains to be seen as the team didn’t make any major moves. Re-signing Nick Leddy and letting David Perron depart are decisions that have the potential to bite the Blues on the rear end this season. The Blues have done a good job of staying in contention and we’ll see if that stays true after this summer. The team didn’t have a lot of cap flexibility or assets to add much more to the roster, but it is also why the Blues couldn’t acquire Matthew Tkachuk. Tkachuk’s father was a long-time player for the Blues and grew up in St. Louis, so it would have been a match made in heaven if the Blues could get him. Even with minimal adjustments, the Blues look to stay competitive for years to come.

The Blues only added Noel Acciari and Thomas Greiss to solidify their lineup. Acciari played for the Florida Panthers last year and only had eight points in 20 games last season, but with better health and playing time he can bounce back. Acciari is an offense-oriented fourth-line center who doesn’t really take penalties. A good illustration of how shooting regression works. Thomas Griess was brought on after the Blues sent Ville Husso to the Detroit Red Wings for a third-round pick. Greiss is a solid backup that could bring decent relief starts for Jordan Binnington.

But even with the new additions, the Blues need to address their depth situation and how they plan to build their new lineup. It’s mostly depth at forward. Adding Acciari is a good addition for the bottom six; however, losing Perron removes a top-six player. This means some of their younger players may be forced into larger roles they aren’t prepared for yet. As mentioned prior, longtime veteran David Perron is no longer a Blue, which will mean a more significant role for Jordan Kyrou. Also, prospect Jake Neighbours may make the club, but there is no guarantee if he stays in the lineup or makes a significant impact just yet. The defensive group is the same, but they still have a very solid group led by Torey Krug and Colton Parayko to lead that charge. Jordan Binnington is in a position to reclaim his starting position in the net, and Greiss is the new backup. All in all, the roster is still set to try and take a stab at another championship run. 

Even with the roster as is, heading into the 2022-2023 season, they have a lot of questions to be answered. With the likely plan to remain contentious, the Blues have some major decisions to make. Will Tarasenko produce at a high level or even remain a Blue after next season? What if Kyrou fills the void left by Perron? What if Neighbours is the real deal? Will Jordan Binnington regain his form from the Stanley Cup run? That’s a lot of “what ifs,” but if they can remain formidable and hold off on anything significant until next year’s deadline, then having those pieces could help accomplish more in the coming years.

Doug Armstrong knows he has a lot on his plate to keep the Blues rolling. Many times we have seen in the past where certain moves looked questionable, but ended up panning out. The Blues have done a good job of staying in contention and we’ll see if that stays true after this summer.  But with the flat cap, long-term contract commitments to aging players, and lack of true elite prospects; the Blues may not be as strong as other true cup contenders in the league. Armstrong has done a great job in making adjustments to keep the Blues as a contending team. They still have some great top-end talent with guys like Ryan O’Reilly, Vladimir Tarasenko, Pavel Buchnevich, and Torey Krug. A majority of this roster remains the group that went all the way and won it all. It is not easy to keep a contending group like that together and keep it going. As a Central Division juggernaut, the Blues are a force to be reckoned with for at least the next couple of years.

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