Aug 1, 2013, 11:00 PM EST
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.
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.”
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ 60
- Lecavalier out 3-4 weeks with non-displaced fracture in back 3
- Islanders players hold closed-door meeting after ninth straight loss 11
- Penguins’ Neal has phone hearing for knee on Bruins’ Marchand 87
- Shawn Thornton confirms hearing with NHL Department of Player Safety (Updated) 83
- Video: Penguins’ Neal knees Bruins’ Marchand 68
- Penguins announce Brooks Orpik ‘alert and conscious’ (Updated) 47
- Shawn Thornton: ‘People could probably criticize that I’m a little too honorable’ 78
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty 172
- Report: Salary cap ‘may be around’ $70 million next season 17
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (172)
- Bylsma: Sharks are NHL’s best, ‘with all due respect to Chicago’ (89)
- Penguins’ Neal has phone hearing for knee on Bruins’ Marchand (87)
- Shawn Thornton confirms hearing with NHL Department of Player Safety (Updated) (83)
- Bruins’ Kelly out with broken ankle after Dupuis slash (79)