Jun 22, 2012, 8:09 AM EDT
The 2012 NHL Awards represented a special evening for the St. Louis Blues’ front office, with head coach Ken Hitchcock winning the Jack Adams and Doug Armstrong winning the GM of the Year award. Next season will present one of the best tests in sports, however: can they maintain that success and then build on it?
Making shrewd decisions during the off-season will be a big part of that process. Both Hitchcock and Armstrong indicated that the team won’t make too many significant moves, yet both admitted that they need another defenseman.
Interestingly enough, Armstrong said that he’s looking for more than a seventh guy who might just be a regular healthy scratch, though.
“We’re not looking to add a seventh defenseman, we’re looking to add a defenseman in our top four,” Armstrong said. “Now, that’s easier said than done also. You look at that market out there right now, if we have to wait until July 1 there’s going to be a lot of people wanting those players so it might have to come via trade.”
Armstrong pointed out that the Blues still need to make some decisions on the team’s own unrestricted free agents, yet he believes that internal growth might be accelerated simply by improved health – especially at the forward position.
One interesting negotiation process on the horizon comes regarding stud defenseman Alex Pietrangelo. He’s about to enter the final year of his current deal, so the Blues will get their first chance to re-up him on July 1, if they chose to go in that direction. With the whopping deals handed out to Drew Doughty and Erik Karlsson, the price for high-end young defensemen is booming in the NHL, so we got Armstrong’s take on how that process might go.
“With the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations going on, we have the opportunity to decide if we want to do that,” Armstrong said. “It won’t be in early July. We’ll let the dust settle on free agency and the dust settle on building our roster. If they’d like to sign we’d certainly love to sign him, he’s a big part of our future. But if it goes into the next season or goes into next summer I’m not too concerned … I think we’ll be safe.”
- Tortorella takes blame for top players’ struggles 6
- Discuss: Bruins finish off Rangers in Game 5 33
- Brassard says Marchand ‘doesn’t show any respect for his opponents’ 68
- Playoffs tonight: Bruins and Red Wings look to finish things in Game 5 7
- Video: Senators’ captain Alfredsson discusses his future 11
- Penguins put on a ‘clinic’ in semifinal series win over Senators 33
- Report: NHL to present Glendale with Coyotes ownership plan next week 16
- Discuss: Penguins knock off the Senators in Game 5, headed to conference final 74
- Video: Morrow’s goal off the foot stands after review 6
- Maloney signs long-term contract as Coyotes GM 7
- Report: NHLPA director Fehr wants to address issue of fighting (114)
- Question for commenters: What, if anything, needs to be done about the officiating? (101)
- Discuss: Bruins rally in third, take 3-0 series lead (99)
- Discuss: Detroit takes 2-1 series lead vs. Chicago (95)
- Discuss: Rangers stay alive with OT win (87)
- LIVE: Bruins-Rangers, Game 5
- PST: Bayern Munich beats Dortmund, wins Champions League
- PBT: Pacers' Hill: Only God scarier than LeBron
- Hundreds run Boston Marathon's final mile
- MST Monaco GP predictions: Mercedes' time?
- PHT: Brassard says Marchand shows no respect
- PST: Neymar reportedly set to join Barcelona