Armstrong Indicates Halak, Elliott to Remain with Blues
As we get closer to the official start of unrestricted free agency the Blues roster is already becoming clearer.
St. Louis officially agreed to a two-year extension with d-man Jordan Leopold which pays him $2.25 million per.
Much of the attention this summer has been on the goaltending situation. Sources indicate the Blues shopped both Brian Elliott and Jaro Halak but no deal ever came into fruition. I asked Armstrong this morning if he expects both players in camp when the season gets started.
Armstrong indicated he expects Halak, Elliott, and rookie Jake Allen each to be members of the Blues when camp begins. The goalie conversation has been the most talked about subject between Armstrong and Head Coach Ken Hitchcock this off-season. Both understand the value of the position and that you can never have too many bodies.
Just two seasons ago Halak and Elliott were being celebrated after winning the Jennings Trophy for the lowest goals against average in the league. The Blues aren’t about to underestimate the role Allen played last season in stabilizing the position and arguably saving the season with Halak and Elliott struggling to find themselves.
You can never have enough goaltenders. They’re like pitchers in baseball and the Blues were never looking to give anyone away. All three will have an opportunity to contribute and make an impact next season.
It’s sounding more and more like Chris Stewart and the Blues are heading to arbitration. This was speculated heavily at the draft and the Blues say they have the number they’re looking at in an arb case. Don’t be surprised if a deal gets worked out at the last minute. You can assume Stewart is seeking an aav north of $4.5 million.
D-man Kris Russell cleared waivers and remains a Blue for the time being. He too could very well be heard to arb. Russell has turned down a $1.5 million offer for next season.
The Blues prospect camp begins Monday July 8th in St. Louis. The camp will not include any on ice training.
Doug Armstrong says he’s spoken with multiple centermen today in an effort to recruit them to St. Louis.
Al Macinnis pitched St. Louis to Vinny Lecavalier before the former Lightning star chose to sign with Philly.
Armstrong says he has an issue offering big dollars in free agency that pays a player 50-60% more than his own homegrown players. Says he won’t sign a guy just to create an initial splash before trying and get rid of the contract for the duration of the deal.
In other words he’s not following the Paul Holmgren model.
Listen carefully because i'm not predicting this will happen, but if you were a team needing goaltending would you consider signing Jake Allen to an offer sheet knowing the Blues are already paying Halak and Elliott a combined $6.6 million next season? What would prevent a team from offering Allen a three year deal at close to $3 million per? The compensation for an offer sheet between $1.682-$3.364 is only a second round pick.
Teams like Philly, Florida, and the Islanders could all use goaltending help
More to come,
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