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Armstrong: St. Louis is where ‘good players want to be’

Aug 1, 2013, 11:00 PM EDT

Doug Armstrong AP

Shortly after locking in Jay Bouwmeester, Blues GM Doug Armstrong talked up his hockey club.

“We’re entering a new phase in our organization with this current group,” he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Now we’re a place where good players want to be.”

It’s hard to argue against him.

Over the course of the summer, St. Louis retained all of its key free agents — Kevin Shattenkirk, Chris Stewart, Patrik Berglund, Jordan Leopold, Jake Allen — while adding depth at forward in the form of Derek Roy, Maxim Lapierre and Keith Aucoin.

Armstrong also got proactive by inking Bouwmeester to a five-year, $27 million extension, even though the defenseman had a year remaining on his deal.

The only thing left now is to re-up with key RFA defenseman Alex Pietrangelo. According to Armstrong, the club will do “what is necessary” to get it done.

Overall it’s a pretty bold statement out of St. Louis, a team that’s always been spend-conscious.

Last year, the club operated roughly $18 million under the salary cap ceiling; in 2011-12, they were around $9 million shy; in 2010-11 they were nearly $15 million under.

At the time of writing, the Blues were just $8 million under the cap with Pietrangelo still left to sign.

That, plus the team’s young core and a stable of talented draftees still on entry-level deals — Vladimir Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz, Ty Rattie, Dmitrij Jaskin — makes it no surprise that players are excited about St. Louis.

“It was exciting when I talked to Jay and his representation,” Armstrong said. “They felt this was a team that was on the rise and a team that he wanted to be part of.”

  1. charleslouis99 - Aug 1, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    What about Pääjärvi, Mr. Halford?

    • Mike Halford - Aug 1, 2013 at 11:48 PM

      Yeah, I thought about including him….thought about it.

  2. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 1, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    It’s pretty easy to project them as finishing 2nd in the central div this year.

  3. charleslouis99 - Aug 2, 2013 at 12:31 AM

    Why not?

  4. scaarepittschamberofcommerce - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:16 AM

    you’d think it were St Louis Blues day of something. :)

    Im digging it.

  5. elwaysagenius - Aug 2, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    It’s almost as if the blues have won anything recently

  6. elwaysagenius - Aug 2, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    It’s almost as if the blues have won anything recently

  7. comeonnowguys - Aug 2, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    Chicago is where GREAT players want to be.

    …I’m not proud of that. Not at all.

    • tridecagon - Aug 2, 2013 at 11:02 AM

      I’m a huge Blues fan… and I thought it too.

      But if you want to know what it’s like to be unconditionally loved forever, just be the guy that brings StL their first Cup.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 2, 2013 at 8:19 PM

      Actually only one player left Chi by choice this summer, Ray Emery who wanted tyhe opportunity to start. Everybody else would have liked to stay. Everyone but emery, including their RFA’s. Hawks signed to outstanding amateur free agents this year, who could have signed with lesser teams where they would have made the parent club 1st year.

      Drew LeBlanc and Antti Ranta chose the Hawks, eventho they will likely spend most or all of next year in Rockford, theie AHL team.

      But that is not to cheap-shot the Blues, who the Hawks respect. Just to touch on comeon’s comment.

  8. mathieug79 - Aug 2, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    WOW…saying that after signing Derek Roy had me shaking my head….

  9. shoobiedoobin - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    It wasn’t more than a few weeks ago when we saw multiple free agents turning down STL’s offers.

    Inking Bouwmeester doesn’t change the fact you’re still an underachieving bunch of goons.

    • shoobiedoobin - Aug 2, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      8 thumbs down and no one attempting to refute this? You know you’re right and you’ve offended Blues fans when…

    • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 2, 2013 at 8:14 PM

      There is another factor to consider – the players that turned them down did not think there were a fit with STL’s coaches style. Does not means good players don’t want to play there, but guys who mostly think offense pass.

      Pens should consider the “D” a little more – their offense is everything got exposed ihn the 1st and 3rd series.

      • shoobiedoobin - Aug 5, 2013 at 12:45 PM

        ^Well you email Armstrong and let him know he needs to change his comment from “good players” to “defensive minded” players.

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