Janssen, Conklin Not Expected Back
The Blues will have a different look when it comes to their backup goalie and enforcer as sources indicate neither player is likely to return next season.
Whether or not they look to the outside to replace Ty Conklin and Cam Janssen remains to be seen.
Goaltender Ben Bishop as well as solid fourth liner Ryan Reaves are the obvious choices internally to fill both of these roles. Both are restricted free agents but will almost certainly sign two-way contracts and return next season. This is of course barring either of them being traded this summer.
If the Blues choose to not replace Janssen this summer, the responsibility will not be solely placed on the shoulders of Reaves. A collection of players will be expected to provide toughness.
Both Conklin and Janssen made solid contributions to the Blues and are were effective both on and off the ice.
Janssen grew to be one of the more popular players in recent years and could likely benefit from a fresh start elsewhere. It’s never easy dealing with the distractions of playing in your hometown though he always handled it first class. There hasn’t been a more generous player when it comes to donating their time and giving back to the community than Cam Janssen. He certainly makes the list of one of the best people I’ve met covering the NHL.
In 165 games played as a Blue, Janssen recorded 470 penalty minutes including 57 fighting majors. Several teams are on Janssen’s wish list including the Chicago Blackhawks.
I fully expect D-man Tyson Strachan to explore free agency and best weigh his options.
The fact the Blues were willing to extend Vladimir Sobotka for 3 years says how highly they think of him as a hockey player. They love his versatility when you consider he can play wing or center, can play with skilled or a shutdown players, while also contributing on the PP and PK. GM Doug Armstrong refers to Sobotka as an honest, physical, competitive player who represents what they want on this team.
As we reported on this site several days ago, Sobotka’s deal is worth $3.9 M paying him $1.2, $1.3, $1.4 in the next three seasons.
More to come,
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