With the amount of young talent that should be with this team next season, I pray the Blues don't play the loyalty card to Stastny and keep him by over-paying him.
So Blues top 6 forwards right now - Tarasneko, Schenn, Schwartz, Stastny, Steen, Thompson.
Berglund and Steen simply aren't producing.
Sobotka has reverted back to what his career numbers tend to show - which happens when you aren't playing with Tank and Stastny.
And do we even have to discuss Sundqvist/Paajarvi/Jaskin.
Yes, Jaskin sometimes contributes. But what in the heck, besides kill penalties, are Sundqvist and Paajarvi even contributing??
Brodziak is doing more than expected. Upshall is filling his expected role. Then there's Thorburn.
That set of players is not a playoff success waiting to happen. All it takes is losing any one of the top 6 forwards and the team doesn't have someone capable of keeping that the top 2 lines successful offensively, to the point neither line works at all - which is what we are seeing right now.
Edmundson and Dunn should be the 1/2 LD. Unfortunately, we have Jay Bouwmeester playing almost 20 minutes a not. Fortunately, Edmundson is getting more ice time. The problem with Bouwmeester - he is too slow for the system they've implemented which encourages the defense to attack up ice - especially if that means being the first in the offensive zone or acting as an F2.... Bouwmeester is too slow to do this. On top of that, he can't play at all on his off-side. They are forcing the rookie Dunn to play his off-side, because he's more capable than Bouwmeester... Does anyone still think it's a coincidence the defensive goal scoring dried up since Bouwmeester's return?? Just use the eyeyball test when Jay-B is on the ice and ask yourself if he's capable of skating like a forward. He no longer fits the system. Hell, Bortuzzo skates harder than Bouwmeester. Bortuzzo is playing like a guy who wants to win something.
Right defense is fine. And what's kind of sad, the outstanding pairing of Dunn and Bortuzzo - they were playing outstanding - keeps getting broken up to accommodate Bouwmeester - who has a whopping 2 points in 16 games.
The over-paid weight needs to go, however it goes, to make way for the future. The future should be next season - unless we continue to get the standard Blues mantra of size is more important than skill, which is what the whole Sundqvist/Paajarvi/Jaskin thing is about, and the loyalty thing which has screwed this team in the past. These 2 attitudes are holding this team back.
The "good" news on Bouwmeester this offseason is that there will only be one year left on his deal, i.e. if Army wanted to buy out that last year we could and it wouldn't be crippling or extremely long term. There probably would be some hesitation on fully handing over the reins to Dunn (who will only be a sophomore next year) but I get your underlying point.
This team has a GLUT of 3rd and 4th liners. Mainly 4th liners. Thankfully they're all on one year deals. Of the group Brodziak and Upshall are my favorites but they're getting up there in age.
Steen could be a legitimate problem. IF he's hit "that point" where the real regression has begun, we got three years left on his deal and a $5.75 cap hit. That's too much to be paying a guy who would ultimately be down on the 3rd line with Berglund if it comes to that.
I pray that the brass had an "interview" of sorts with Army before giving him an extension on what his plan was moving forward, what he philosophically wanted to do, etc, and that it was along the lines of keeping the draft picks coming in, keeping the kids playing and get them on the ice.