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Offseason report: St. Louis Blues

Jul 18, 2012, 12:47 PM EDT

Alex Pietrangelo, Scott Nichol Getty Images

From July 16-Aug 16, we’ll be profiling all 30 NHL teams by recapping what they did this offseason and previewing their upcoming campaigns.

2011-12 season

49-22-11, 109 points. First in the Central Division, second in the Western Conference.

Additions

Jeff Woywitka, Taylor Chorney

Departures

Jason Arnott (still unsigned), Carlo Colaiacovo (still unsigned)

2012 Draft

1st round, 25th overall — Jordan Schmaltz (Green Bay, USHL)

Looking back

GM Doug Armstrong failed to land any significant unrestricted free agents on July 1, a fact that had many Blues fans upset. However, Armstrong hasn’t been sitting around doing nothing since his team was swept by the Kings in second round.

So far this summer, the Blues have signed highly touted prospect Vladimir Tarasenko to a three year entry-level deal, re-signed RFAs David Perron and Chris Stewart, as well as re-upped with potential UFAs Barret Jackman, Jamie Langenbrunner, and Scott Nichol.

But save for Tarasenko, unless Armstrong makes a move, next year’s lineup could be extremely similar to last year’s.

Looking forward

Armstrong still has to get TJ Oshie under contract, be it via negotiation or arbitration. The Blues would like to get Oshie locked up long-term.

Suffice to say cap space is no problem for Armstrong. In fact, the Blues have yet to reach the cap floor. That said, they need to mindful of the fact Alex Pietrangelo, Kevin Shattenkirk, Chris Stewart, Patrik Berglund and Matt D’Agostini are set to become RFAs next summer, and the first two especially will be in line for big raises.

If there’s one area that must be addressed sooner or later, it’s the back end. Defensemen Jason Garrison and Matt Carle were reportedly targeted, but both chose to sign elsewhere.

Have your say

Vote in our poll and let us know what you think of the Rangers’ 2012-13 outlook in the comments section.

  1. datguy83 - Jul 18, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    This team was strong defensively last year. What they need is some goal scorers. Perron is made of glass, and he is the best scorer they have.

    • mickeyb21 - Jul 18, 2012 at 1:03 PM

      Perron has been injured once from a direct shoulder to the head. I do not think that counts as being made of glass. He had no physical issues due to that injury after he returned. I think he will be in better shape this next year and score at the same pace that he finished the year on.

  2. canuckinamerica - Jul 18, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    And they added a terrific assistant coach who works well with Hitch.

  3. mickeyb21 - Jul 18, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    The only real issue I have with the current Blues’ lineup is the defensive partner for Pietrangelo. Seeing as there are multiple teams out there looking for top 4 d-men, I do not think this will get addressed now especially with UFA’s. I can see a trade, but I picture that happening mid-season or trade deadline. Last resort is signing Carlo to a 1 or 2 year deal (still feel like this won’t happen).

    Here’s to hoping Ian Cole can step up on the back end, Tarasenko brings some dynamic offensive abilities to the forwards, and everyone stays healthy.

  4. capsrockva - Jul 18, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    When is the Caps day

  5. charleslouis99 - Jul 18, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    yea really perron isn’t made of glass he took a bad hit and was out for awhile and he has shown he isn’t afraid to make an occasional hit every once in awhile

  6. sergeikremlin - Jul 18, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Perron – Oshie – Tarasenko.

    Would love to see the synergy that emerged out of that line. Tarasenko, if he makes the team, is going to surprise some players with his skill and strength and could definitely challenge for the Calder.

    • spetznaz777 - Jul 18, 2012 at 6:58 PM

      id like to see perron get back to leading the league with drawn penalties. hes a pest around the net and seems to get under the goalies/defense’s skin (jimmy howard) and id like to see a 30+ season from him.

  7. jovocop2112 - Jul 19, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    They will be the Bolts of next year – teams wont be caught off guard by their style for much longer so the team wont be as good, especially if Halak’s ankle doesnt get better. I still see them making the playoffs because none of the Central Division teams have gotten ‘better’ but they wont be the near unstoppable team they were

    • spetznaz777 - Jul 19, 2012 at 2:18 AM

      disregard halaks injury its a high ankle sprain requireing 3+ months to recover.he will be fine. red wings are on decline unless they do something. blues will prolly not win the division but will make the playoffs.

    • mickeyb21 - Jul 19, 2012 at 8:57 AM

      Last year the Bolts had no defense and no goalies. I do not see Halak/Elliott regressing to that degree. I see them not setting any records like last year, but still in the top 10 of goalies. The Bolt’s also had no back-ups for when their players got injured. The Blues had tons of injuries last year and still did well. Now all the young guys are a year older and have more experience. They also now know what it takes in the playoffs, so I see them coming in to pre-season in better shape physically and mentally.

  8. themajorleagueblog - Jul 19, 2012 at 6:16 AM

    Is Jason Arnott a journeyman now? Since his long tenure in Nashville, he could potentially play on 4 teams in 3 years. He’s a quality player and personally, I think he should stay in St. Louis

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  9. charleslouis99 - Jul 19, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    the reason the bolts failed last year was because they had 42 year old Ellison and the goaltending defense played a part but it wasn’t as near as bad as the goaltenders and I don’t see the blues goalies or defense turning into the bolts counterparts and besides the only thing that people got used to was bouchers 1-3-1 trap
    I don’t see it happening

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