If anyone hears any Blues fan try to repeat the "transition" word Armstrong tried to claim this season was, ask them:
1) How many defenseman were transitioned from 15-16 to 16-17? The answer is none. The Blues had the same defensive corps until they traded Shattenkirk at the 16-17 trade deadline. This is not transition.
2)What changed in goal? Goaltending - the only transition was making Allen the hands down #1 which went through some struggles, so, yes, this could be called transition.
3) Forwards - who were the new Blues forwards to start the 16-17 season compared to 15-16? 2 players. TWO!!! - Perron and Yakupov. Replacing a 3rd liner with a 3rd liner and adding guy who can barely play while rolling out almost the same entire 15-16 players for 16-17 isn't transitioning. That's maintaining a status quo. Call ups due to injury are not transition (Barbashev, Agostino, Megan, etc).
So what was the transition? To a new style of more offensive play? Nope. Just went from a defensive-minded coach to another defensive-minded coach only with a different defensive system. So again, what was the transition??
If you want to see transition and see it done successfully, look at the Penguins. First, let's define transition. Making significant changes to your lineup. One consequence of transition is younger players, likely on entry level contracts, will play and they will have to learn by playing, which could impact making the playoffs. The Blues have done no such thing, not even close this season. Sure - Barbashev got called up late due to injury, but that's not transitioning. So why did I mention the Penguins? 5 of their current 13 forwards and 1 of their current defenseman are on entry level contracts. Most of them started playing last season due to the Penguins cap crunch. That's transitioning - not changing two players and keeping the same style head coach. And the Pens won the cup changing their depth players to younger guys, instead of trying to keep older veterans. They are on track to reach the Finals again. All while transitioning.
Chicago - 6 forwards and 4 defenseman were on entry level contracts. This is transition and it's part of why they lost in the playoffs. Transition isn't necessarily changing your top players, but changing your depth players and developing them - if necessary, at the NHL level which is where the 'Hawks are, because of cap constraints. Similar to the Penguins.
So why not actually transition, play the younger players, and use the cap space freed to improve the top end players on your roster vice continuing with a status quo roster? Unfortunately, the Blues have too many of the players from last season already under contract (13 forwards, 5 defenseman) and Armstrong is too loyal to guys already under contract. Don't expect to see any "transition" for 17-18 given the Blues past management actions. But you will keep hearing Armstrong say transition. Repeatedly saying the same thing over and over again doesn't make it true. Actions speak louder than words.
3 Blues players were on ELCs this season.
Fabbri on 15-16 roster
Parayko on 15-16 roster
and the traded for Sanford.
This is kinda semantics I guess, but I've called it a transition year since before the season. We lost our captain, starting goalie, and one of the veteran leaders in Brouwer. It's a fair point that we didn't have a ton of roster turnover, but the ones we did have were fairly substantial.
The reason I've called it a transition is less about the amount of roster turnover than (my perceived) change of direction of the team. For several years there was talk of having two cores. There was the Backes/Steen, etc. veteran core. Then, there was the core of younger guys like Tarasenko, Schwartz, Pietro, Allen, etc. I saw this year as the change from two cores to one, younger core.