Veteran center was the No. 8 overall pick by the Coyotes in the 2006 NHL Draft.
After three seasons as backup goaltender, he has a contract extension and owns the starting job.
Chris Zimmerman first met owner Tom Stillman playing pick-up hockey in New York in the 1980s.
Dan O'Neill writes that the value of Blues' role player was overestimated.
His $2,725,000 salary will carry over to the season in which he returns to the NHL.
You can look at the losses for this team and say that they will not make any noise this season. But this team has proven time and again that a strong team effort and solid coaching is all you need to be successful in today’s NHL.
Forwards: Niclas Bergfors, Zack Stortini.
Defensemen: Jack Hillen, Tyler Sloan.
On the outs
Forwards: Steve Begin (VAN)*, Wade Belak (unsigned)**, J.P. Dumont (unsigned), Marcel Goc (FLA), Matthew Lombardi (TOR), Steve Sullivan (PIT), Andreas Thuresson (NYR), Joel Ward (WAS).
Defensemen: Cody Franson (TOR).
Goaltenders: Mark Dekanich (CBJ).
*- Steve Begin has accepted a tryout contract with the Vancouver Canucks.
**- Sadly, Wade Belak passed away over the off-season.
In 2001, StLouisBluesNews.com was created and an era was born in hockey message board history. Now LetsGoBlues.com, the site has remained your #1 stop for discussing the St. Louis Blues with fellow fans. As if this was not enough, LGB added front-page content last season that included game recaps, analysis of trades and even a Twitter feed for all of the Blues players. This season, we are taking it a step further.
On Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 the St. Louis Blues Radio Podcast will debut. A collaborative effort between LetsGoBlues.com Owner Curt Price, LGB Lead Writer Jeff Ponder and BlueNoteZone.com Owner and NHLHotStove.com Associate Editor Jeff Quirin will be made to deliver news analysis and opinion regarding the Blues in audio form.
Jeff Quirin – @JTQ_1
What can you say about the Detroit Red Wings? This team keeps its core together every year and seems to never be fazed by any depth changes. This will likely frustrate teams yet again in 2011-12.
Defensemen: Mike Commodore, Ian White.
Goaltenders: Ty Conklin.
On the outs
Forwards: Kris Draper (retired), Mike Modano (unsigned).
Defensemen: Ruslan Salei (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl)*, Brian Rafalski (retired).
Goaltenders: Chris Osgood (retired).
Finally, the Blues named a captain that we can all agree on.
The Blues have been without a captain since they traded Eric Brewer near the NHL trade deadline in February. He served as the Blues’ captain for three years.
The Blues franchise and their fans never truly saw eye-to-eye as Brewer being the choice for captain. He was booed on home ice and was berated by fans on any St. Louis Blues message board.
Things will be different this season. David Backes, a true fan-favorite, will wear the ‘C’ as the Blues’ 20th captain heading into their 44th season in the NHL.
Blues GM Doug Armstrong was not shy in talking up his new captain.
“It’s someone that we truly believe can lead this franchise, not only this year but in the future,” Armstrong said, “someone that has a great relationship with Davis [Payne], an excellent relationship with his teammates [and] has the qualities we want in a captain.”
The hockey community lost many great men today in one of the biggest tragedies to take place in sports history. Two of these men are former Blues.
Pavol Demitra and Igor Korolev boarded a flight in Russia’s Yaroslavl airport this morning. Sadly, the flight never reached its destination of Minsk, Belarus. The Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, one of the top KHL teams, were aboard the flight that crashed near a river, killing at least 43 people and leaving one in beyond critical condition.
The St. Louis Blues released the following statements about the tragic events today:
“The St. Louis Blues have lost two members of our family, Pavol Demitra and Igor Korolev, and our thoughts and prayers are with their families as well. Pavol and Igor were both incredibly passionate and dedicated players and their influence in St. Louis was not only felt on the ice, but throughout the community.”
Korolev, drafted by the Blues in the 2nd round, 38th overall of the 1992 NHL Entry Draft, spent 12 seasons in the NHL, including his first two with the Blues. He left the NHL during the lockout and continued to play in Russia. He spent his last years playing with the Magnitogorsk Metallurg of the Russian Elite League and Mytishchi Atlant and the Lokomotiv of the KHL. After playing in his final game in 2010, Korolev stayed with Yaroslavl as a coach. He just turned 41 years old on September 6.
The left-handed Demitra was drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the 9th round, 227th overall, of the 1993 NHL Entry Draft. He was acquired by the Blues in possibly one of the best trades for St. Louis in their 43-year history. Christer Olsson, the Blues’ 11th round selection, 275th overall, was dealt straight-up to the Senators for Demitra on November 17, 1996. Olsson went on to play in 25 more NHL games. Demitra played eight seasons for the Blues and 788 total NHL games after the trade. He left the Blues as their 5th all-time leading scorer with 493 points.