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Two days ago, the Los Angeles Kings celebrated what every Blues player, front office, and every fan want: a Stanley Cup Championship followed by a parade through downtown. With the offseason looming, here is my three keys to happen during the offseason.
#1. Bring up Jake Allen: My first key is what I think what a lot of fans are screaming about. With the Blues being adamant about not re-signing Ryan Miller to a long-term deal, this allows the Blues to give Jake Allen an opportunity to see what he can do in the majors. He has played 15 games in the NHL during the 2012-2013 season where he went 9-4 posting a shutout, a 2.46 Goals Against Average, and .905 Save Percentage. Last season, he played in the AHL for the Chicago Wolves where posted a 33-16-3 while posting 7 shutouts and 2.03 Goals Against Average. These stats earned Allen the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award, which is given to the best AHL goaltender. The time is now to see what he can do in a full time role in the NHL.
#2 The Front Office put trust in the young guys: My second key deals with the front office putting their trust in the young guys. The one guy I will use in an example is Adam Cracknell. I want to see what Cracknell can do throughout the regular season not just during the playoffs and some stints in the NHL. Last year in the AHL, Cracknell had 12 goals in 28 games, and he also scored the first goal for the Blues in the playoffs. About two playoffs ago, Ken Hitchcock had put together a dominant line in the NHL in what the press dubbed the CPR line (Adam Cracknell, Chris Porter, Ryan Reeves). This line was his fourth line played with tenacity, power, and energy. It was one of my favorite lines to watch in the playoffs. All these players showed great line chemistry. I am little tired of these one-year guys over 30 signings that truly don’t produce enough to show worth such as Jason Arnott, Jamie Langbrunner, Brendan Morrow, and Derek Roy, just to name a few. The front office needs to show a little faith in the young guys. If they do this, the team can begin to learn the tendencies of their line mates, which leads to great line chemistry for the coming season and many more seasons.
#3 Bring in a Goal Scorer: My third key is I think what every team wants to do. They want to bring in a another player that can score goals especially during the playoffs. Teams that did well in the playoffs had a guy that they could turn to score goals. For the Chicago Blackhawks, it was Patrick Kane. For the L.A. Kings, it was Marian Gaborik. Just to provide a few examples. I have my eyes set on three different candidates some are realistic and others are not so realistic. My first candidate is Center Paul Stastny. He brings a high skill level, has strong defensive skills, and he plays great in the playoffs, which is something the Blues need in a player. He will cost a lot of money and bring a ton of attention. I think the Colorado Avalanche will do everything in their power to bring him back. My next candidate is Left Winger Mike Cammalleri. Last year, Cammalleri scored 26 goals in 62 games played where as Brendan Morrow played in 72 games and only registered 12 goals. So, it would be a good upgrade to sign Cammalleri. My one concern is that he is not fast as he once was but I still think he has worth and can score goals. My final candidate is Left Winger Matt Moulson. You know what you get with Moulson. He’s a 24- to 30-goal scorer, and he should get to at least 50 points. The problem is that the Minnesota Wild will go after Moulson pretty hard to bring him back. The Blues do have $22,483,333 in cap space, which some will go to resigning their three restricted free agents of Vladimir Sobotka, Jaden Schwartz, and Patrik Berglund. After these three signings, there should be still some cap space to sign a goal scorer.