St. Louis Blues

Blues Hockey The St. Louis Blues sputtered towards the end of last season, winning only 1 of their final 6 games, sadly missing the playoffs by a solitary point. Thus, instead of minor changes in the offseason as their fans expected, the team underwent a major overhaul. The team added some key pieces to help the remaining and returning players.   Eventful Offseason Greg Wyshynski considers St. Louis as among the biggest winners of the offseason. While they didn’t win the Tavares sweepstakes, they made a lot of significant moves that proved beneficial to the team. Likewise, their farm system is perennially ranked among the league’s top 5. Expect the Blues to be competitive for a long time. Key roster acquisitions are Tyler Bozak, Patrick Maroon, Chad Johnson, Ryan O’Reilly, and David Perron. No longer part of the team are Patrik Berglund, Carter Hutton, Kyle Brodziak, Vladimir Sobotka, Scottie Upshall, and Tage Thompson. Paul Stansky was sent away at the trade deadline. There were also organizational changes, aside from the sacking of Ken Hitchcock more than a year ago, although the front office has remained consistent under Doug Armstrong. Despite the power struggles, Mike Yeo is returning as head coach. Replacing Darryl Sydor as an assistant is ex-Blue Mike Van Ryn. The single biggest organizational change is the Blues’ newly forged partnership with the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage. This allowed the Blues to enjoy a working farm system once more.   Players Expected to Step Up in 2018 – 2019 Robby Fabbri – After missing an entire season and a half due to successive knee injuries, Fabbri is expected to return healthy, and contribute to his team’s cause. Prior to his first injury, he was among St. Louis’ rising stars, logging 18 goals and 37 points, and was right on track for a 46-point year until injury side-tracked him in his rookie season. If he can live up to the promise of his first season, he will be a great addition to the Blues’ forward line-up. Patrick Maroon – The Blues’ last significant offseason move involved the signing of hometown lad Patrick Maroon to a shockingly affordable $1.75, 1-year contract. Maroon had previously turned down more lucrative offers from other franchises with longer terms and bigger money for a chance to play for his hometown. He expressed his excitement to play for the Blues in a recent tweet. The Fourth Line – The Blues’ fourth line has brought about some uncertainty with the departure of Brodziak, Upshall, and Reaves, who have been manning the team’s fourth line for the longest time. St. Louis’ top prospect, Robert Thomas, is expected to energize the totally new group.   Projected 2018 – 2019 Finish The acquisition of Ryan O’Reilly has no doubt boosted the Blues’ offensive arsenal. However, it is still not enough to get them over the top. For the 2018 – 2019 season, the Blues are expected to finish 15th best in the league, an improvement over last season’s 20th place. They will likely finish in 4th place in the Central Division and 8th in the entire Western Conference.    Blue Game