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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:43 pm 
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So Fitzpatrick's sole purpose is to be an AHL backup because unless he has a major epiphany into how to be a goalie, he's never sniffing the NHL. Seems like a great use for a 2nd round pick. Colton Point (Dallas, rd 5) and Tyler Wall (Rangers, rd 6) arguably would have been better selections given the role they'd be used in.

Retrospectively, looking at his progress this season, I'm bitter that we didn't look to trade up higher in the 2nd round and use a pick on Alex Debrincat. We may have stole one with Kyrou, but Chicago stole one with Debrincat and it sure would have been nice to get them both. It's not rocket science to trade up higher in the 2nd-7th rounds. We're not talking about trading to #1 overall. Trade our 2nd rounder, a later pick and/or a borderline prospect and you got yourself a high 2nd rounder.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:40 am 
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Blues sign Jake Walman to Entry Level Contract

Walman could very well be one of the Blues 3 LD next season ahead of Dunn simply because he is better defensively. By 18-19, the Blues LD should be Walman, Dunn, and Edmundson which would be a “value” defense in terms of salary cap. This contract is the same as Thompson's, an Amatuer Try Out, so the first year of the ELC does not start until next season

Tried to quote the article from the following link, but it wouldn't post. Lots more detail on Walman's game in it.

Jake Walman - Lastwordonhockey

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:44 am 
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I thought Walman would take one more year in college after he was injured last season and he's been statistically down this year. This is a bit surprising, but I still think Dunn is next. What else is there for him to prove in Chicago? He's offensively gifted, I'm almost positive he leads the team in +/-, and I don't think he's defensively inept but I guess I could be wrong there.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:03 pm 
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From what I gather reading things, Walman's defensive game is further along than Dunn's which could be the difference maker in determining who makes the 17-18 team assuming either Gunnarson or Bouwmeester are gone. The issue with that last part, Armstrong and the current coaching staff are as enamored with Bouwmeester as Hitchcock was. What's mind-numbing to me is how many defenseman in the NHL are making 5+M per season, getting #top pairing EV strength ice time, have played 50 or more games, and are in the bottom 1/4 of the league in point production?

Toby Enstrom
Dan Girardi
Marc Staahl

Those are the only 3 defenseman with a larger cap hit than Bouwmeester, fewer points, and played 50+ games. None of them are currently top pairing D for their teams for various reasons. Way over-paid. Bring up the kids and let's actually get some meaningful production from the other defenseman not named Pietrangelo drawing 1st pairing minutes. I still remember the broo-ha-ha about Parayko not scoring a goal for so long this season. What's Bouwmeester's excuse? He hasn't scored a goal since November 5th and has only missed 1 game back on December 5th.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:15 pm 
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I wasn't "thrilled" by Bouwmeester's extension two years ago, especially on that price point, but we didn't have nearly the options we do now in terms of young talent and we just traded a hefty price for the guy. Almost seemed to me to be a "well we might as well re-sign him and plug him in."

His age is showing, he's getting to the end here. At the time I guess I understood it even if I didn't "like" it but now he and Lehtera are just two contracts I think the Blues can easily get rid of.

Parayko and Edmunson will more or less be veterans next season, Pietrangelo will continue to be that anchor #1 so I'm also not really worried about losing Bouwmeester's experience either.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:33 pm 
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If Bouwmeester and Lehtera aren't gone via expansion draft or trades this off-season, will the Blues buy them out?

If they bought out Jay-Bo, his cap hit drops to 1.8M per season through the 20-21 season. Bringing up D on entry level deals (Walman) which aren't even 1M per makes cap space for other purposes available. (5.4 to less than 2.8 = deal). And Walman's ELC covers all 3 years of a Jay-Bo buyout.

Buying out Lehtera would take the 4.7M next season down to 1.3, but then 1.6 the following two seasons. Again - using players on entry level deals (Tage Thompson) would save 2M+ in cap space for other purposes and that entry level deal lasts the full term of Lehtera's buyout.

The Blues could create basically 5M in cap space by buying those two out and relying on younger players. Heck, they could actually chase a quality FA.

Yes, the buyouts would mean 3.4 in cap hits for 3 seasons without them on the team, but the benefit of playing the younger guys seems worth it and the ELCs cover the length of the buyouts.

Unfortunately, I doubt Armstrong would even consider something like this to make the team younger and possibly better. Big risk not relying on an aging veteran and a 3rd round bust that one of your star players likes.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:08 pm 
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theohall wrote:
The article explains the Blues probably won't tender Binnington - a 23 year old RFA for the 2nd straight season. This would make Husso the clear #1 for the Wolves. Unless Binnington is willing to be paid as an AHL backup and accept that role, it might be time to move on from him.


I don't know if this has been brought up on this thread or not, but are there plans for the Blues to acquire their own NHL affiliate? It seems like the Wolves are logjamed with far too much talent than can be developed and maybe that's hurting player development for our guys? I don't know a great deal about the situation beyond that we share the Wolves, thus the question.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:10 pm 
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theohall wrote:
If Bouwmeester and Lehtera aren't gone via expansion draft or trades this off-season, will the Blues buy them out?

If they bought out Jay-Bo, his cap hit drops to 1.8M per season through the 20-21 season. Bringing up D on entry level deals (Walman) which aren't even 1M per makes cap space for other purposes available. (5.4 to less than 2.8 = deal). And Walman's ELC covers all 3 years of a Jay-Bo buyout.

Buying out Lehtera would take the 4.7M next season down to 1.3, but then 1.6 the following two seasons. Again - using players on entry level deals (Tage Thompson) would save 2M+ in cap space for other purposes and that entry level deal lasts the full term of Lehtera's buyout.

The Blues could create basically 5M in cap space by buying those two out and relying on younger players. Heck, they could actually chase a quality FA.

Yes, the buyouts would mean 3.4 in cap hits for 3 seasons without them on the team, but the benefit of playing the younger guys seems worth it and the ELCs cover the length of the buyouts.

Unfortunately, I doubt Armstrong would even consider something like this to make the team younger and possibly better. Big risk not relying on an aging veteran and a 3rd round bust that one of your star players likes.


There isn't a way we can trade them with a pick as a cap dump or would we end up having to retain cap anyway?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:17 pm 
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I'm not really sure how Niko Mikkola is a "big name prospect". Given that we have Parayko, Edmundson, Schmaltz, Dunn and Walman who are all extremely young and should factor into the teams plans for a while if the cap allows, plus obviously Pie who isn't going anywhere anytime soon, the rest of our defensive depth would probably be more trade bait than anything. Mikkola, Saari, Vannelli who appears to be a bust, Lindbohm of course, these guys aren't going to be NHL regulars ever with the line in front of them. Start turning some of them into draft picks and stock up on wingers, that's an organizational need at the moment.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:21 pm 
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Oaklandblue wrote:
theohall wrote:
If Bouwmeester and Lehtera aren't gone via expansion draft or trades this off-season, will the Blues buy them out?

If they bought out Jay-Bo, his cap hit drops to 1.8M per season through the 20-21 season. Bringing up D on entry level deals (Walman) which aren't even 1M per makes cap space for other purposes available. (5.4 to less than 2.8 = deal). And Walman's ELC covers all 3 years of a Jay-Bo buyout.

Buying out Lehtera would take the 4.7M next season down to 1.3, but then 1.6 the following two seasons. Again - using players on entry level deals (Tage Thompson) would save 2M+ in cap space for other purposes and that entry level deal lasts the full term of Lehtera's buyout.

The Blues could create basically 5M in cap space by buying those two out and relying on younger players. Heck, they could actually chase a quality FA.

Yes, the buyouts would mean 3.4 in cap hits for 3 seasons without them on the team, but the benefit of playing the younger guys seems worth it and the ELCs cover the length of the buyouts.

Unfortunately, I doubt Armstrong would even consider something like this to make the team younger and possibly better. Big risk not relying on an aging veteran and a 3rd round bust that one of your star players likes.


There isn't a way we can trade them with a pick as a cap dump or would we end up having to retain cap anyway?

Who the hell would trade anything for Lehtera right now?? The Blues could try doing the trade thing, but who really wants guys not producing and being paid too much?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:00 am 
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^ Exactly. If they could trade Lehtera they would have done it already. You can't hogtie these other GMs and force them to take your garbage.

Bouwmeester--we talked about this around a year ago. He has a no trade clause and is signed for another 2 years after this year. He produces next to nothing offensively. This is a hard man to trade.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:25 am 
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theohall wrote:
If Bouwmeester and Lehtera aren't gone via expansion draft or trades this off-season, will the Blues buy them out?

If they bought out Jay-Bo, his cap hit drops to 1.8M per season through the 20-21 season. Bringing up D on entry level deals (Walman) which aren't even 1M per makes cap space for other purposes available. (5.4 to less than 2.8 = deal). And Walman's ELC covers all 3 years of a Jay-Bo buyout.

Buying out Lehtera would take the 4.7M next season down to 1.3, but then 1.6 the following two seasons. Again - using players on entry level deals (Tage Thompson) would save 2M+ in cap space for other purposes and that entry level deal lasts the full term of Lehtera's buyout.

The Blues could create basically 5M in cap space by buying those two out and relying on younger players. Heck, they could actually chase a quality FA.

Yes, the buyouts would mean 3.4 in cap hits for 3 seasons without them on the team, but the benefit of playing the younger guys seems worth it and the ELCs cover the length of the buyouts.

Unfortunately, I doubt Armstrong would even consider something like this to make the team younger and possibly better. Big risk not relying on an aging veteran and a 3rd round bust that one of your star players likes.


Well thankfully there are a few examples to go off of now that, YES, a deal like that is possible.

Marc Savard and Pavel Datsyuk being the two most recent examples I can think of. If you're going to move a contract on a guy who assume won't play and ask someone else to take the full cap hit for it you obviously have to make it worth their while. If you go into the negotiations knowing that "hey, we're losing a 2nd round pick or draft position or a mid level prospect" then you can get the deal done. How badly do you want to move cap space is the question.

It's not just Vegas next season, the 'Yotes are getting Pronger and Datsyuk's hits off the books and absent them making a plethora of free agent signings on July 1 they're going to have AMPLE space to play with. And with the Datsyuk trade we already know their young GM is willing to play ball (Bolland and Datsyuk were their two highest paid players this season :lol: )

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:26 am 
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And if the Blues need depth, the last thing you want to do is trade picks away.

The buyout option actually makes sense if Blues management would commit to letting the younger players play on the big club while still in their ELCs. Even with those two buyouts, it creates enough flexibility to acquire a key free agent. And it doesn't cost any draft picks.

But that's not likely to happen with how much these coaches and management love Bouwmeester in spite of his slowing down, lack of production, and over-paid status.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:40 am 
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Toasted Oates wrote:
^ Exactly. If they could trade Lehtera they would have done it already. You can't hogtie these other GMs and force them to take your garbage.

Bouwmeester--we talked about this around a year ago. He has a no trade clause and is signed for another 2 years after this year. He produces next to nothing offensively. This is a hard man to trade.


Lehtera: Ehhh, not necessarily. Wouldn't shock me if Armstrong sat on any decision one way or the other in order to "make sure" he wasn't going to work out so decided to let this year play out and re-evaluate at the end of the season.

Bouwmeester: Crap. Forgot about the NTC. :doh:

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:42 pm 
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WaukeeBlues wrote:
Toasted Oates wrote:
^ Exactly. If they could trade Lehtera they would have done it already. You can't hogtie these other GMs and force them to take your garbage.

Bouwmeester--we talked about this around a year ago. He has a no trade clause and is signed for another 2 years after this year. He produces next to nothing offensively. This is a hard man to trade.


Lehtera: Ehhh, not necessarily. Wouldn't shock me if Armstrong sat on any decision one way or the other in order to "make sure" he wasn't going to work out so decided to let this year play out and re-evaluate at the end of the season.

Bouwmeester: Crap. Forgot about the NTC. :doh:

You're probably right about Armstrong's line of thinking. If he got to the trade deadline, though, and still needed to "make sure" on Jori? And he had suitors for him? Woof.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:59 pm 
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Obviously the rumor that Ottawa was kicking the tires on Lehtera and/or Berglund were false. The notion that we could have gotten Logan Brown in exchange was ludicrous anyway. But really who knows with the way we always seem to rob the Sens blind--first with Demitra then with the pick for Tarasenko.

Lehtera is the kind of guy a team who needs to get to the cap floor would take a chance on, and especially given that the need to get to the floor would presume that they wouldn't be trading salary the other way, the return would probably be a pick. I'd take a 5th round pick for Lehtera. The question then is which teams are dangerously close to the cap floor? Looks like Carolina is down there, and Arizona will be soon when those big contracts they got come off the books.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:08 am 
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Oaklandblue wrote:
theohall wrote:
There isn't a way we can trade them with a pick as a cap dump or would we end up having to retain cap anyway?

Who the hell would trade anything for Lehtera right now?? The Blues could try doing the trade thing, but who really wants guys not producing and being paid too much?


Pause. Re-read my question.

I asked about a Cap Dump. Lehtera + Pick goes somewhere, possibly Arizona, who has ample cap space to do the deal. In a Cap Dump situation, Lehtera isn't the prize; it's the Pick. A team like Arizona that's rebuilding would take on a bad contract for a pick because it would help them rebuild and possibly rebuild faster by establishing a youth corps that over time they can build on the right way. You've never heard of such a thing? Teams do this quite ofthen.

In a weak draft, giving up a pick shouldn't be a big deal if we can move a 4.7m x 4 years? contract and be done with it. Granted in Lehtera's situation, we would probably give up two picks and a prospect to get the deal done, which might be beneficial; we have a logjam of players in Chicago, this could help unjam it?

We aren't big on Lehtera and you and I are in total agreement on this. Holding on to his contract is lunacy; if it's better for us to just buy him out, then buy him out. But if we got plans to use the cap for something else, then would my question be worth exploring? This question goes out to everyone, not just Theohall.

As for Jay Bo, I don't think he's a bad player, he's just on a really bad contract and honestly he's really sucked this year.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:10 am 
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theohall wrote:
If Bouwmeester and Lehtera aren't gone via expansion draft or trades this off-season, will the Blues buy them out?

If they bought out Jay-Bo, his cap hit drops to 1.8M per season through the 20-21 season. Bringing up D on entry level deals (Walman) which aren't even 1M per makes cap space for other purposes available. (5.4 to less than 2.8 = deal). And Walman's ELC covers all 3 years of a Jay-Bo buyout.

Buying out Lehtera would take the 4.7M next season down to 1.3, but then 1.6 the following two seasons. Again - using players on entry level deals (Tage Thompson) would save 2M+ in cap space for other purposes and that entry level deal lasts the full term of Lehtera's buyout.

The Blues could create basically 5M in cap space by buying those two out and relying on younger players. Heck, they could actually chase a quality FA.

Yes, the buyouts would mean 3.4 in cap hits for 3 seasons without them on the team, but the benefit of playing the younger guys seems worth it and the ELCs cover the length of the buyouts.

Unfortunately, I doubt Armstrong would even consider something like this to make the team younger and possibly better. Big risk not relying on an aging veteran and a 3rd round bust that one of your star players likes.


I honestly feel that Army and maybe Yeo like Lethera just a little too much.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:53 am 
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I don't know if it's necessarily true that this years draft is weak, per se, or that last years draft was just abnormally strong and we're comparing to that.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:28 am 
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For this draft, there is no "franchise player." That's a major reason why it's a weak draft. Usually, there is at least one and Nolan Patrick, the consensus #1 isn't one. Most years there are at least 2 or 3 guys who can be pointed to as players who will dramatically improve a franchise rapidly. Those players aren't there this season. That's not to say someone will develop into one, but that's the point. Almost all the draft picks in this class will need development, instead of joining their NHL team in 2017-18 or 2018-19.

The last 2 drafts were particularly strong in terms of players already being NHL ready and the top picks being franchise type players.

2014 Draft - 6 of top 10 have played over 100 games each. Two more have played 60+, and only two haven't played in the NHL. Heck, all but 4 picks from that 1st round have played at least one NHL game.

2015 Draft - 8 of the top 10 have already played 60+ NHL games each. And this is with the Coyotes slowing down Dylan Strome. And we already know how deep last year's class was.

I doubt this draft has more than 2 guys playing 60+ NHL games by end of the 2018-19 season. This is why it's considered a weak draft after how deep the last 3 were in terms of impact players being available throughout the 1st round. It's not just the 2016 draft as a comparative tool.

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