Central Division Offseason: St. Louis Blues Outlook

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Central Division Offseason: St. Louis Blues Outlook

Chicago Blackhawks, NHL

We’ve started a look around the Central Division with offseason outlooks before the NHL Draft Combine begins in Buffalo the first week in June. The series began with the Arizona Coyotes yesterday, and today we’ll move up one spot in the standings and discuss the St. Louis Blues.

The Blues had a fascinating season. The two next faces of their franchise, forwards Jordan Kyrou and Robert Thomas, are locked-up with matching long-term deals. But the Blues moved on from a few other stars as the season progressed in a bad way, trading away Ivan Barbashev, Vladimir Tarasenko and Ryan O’Reilly before the deadline. Those deals gave them some additional draft capital this summer, but there’s a clear transition taking place in St. Louis.

Blues 2022-23 By the Numbers

2022-23 Record: 37-38-7 – 81 points (6th in the Central Division)
2023-24 Projected Cap Space:
$6.68 million
Head Coach:
Craig Berube
General Manager:
Doug Armstrong

2022-23 Stats
Goals For/Game: 3.17 (17th in the NHL)
Goals Against/Game: 3.63 (27)
Power Play Pct: 19.3 (22)
Penalty Kill Pct: 72.4 (30)

Blues Offseason Outlook

Notable 2023 UFAs: Thomas Greiss, Josh Leivo, Tyler Pitlick

Notable 2023 RFAs: Alexey Toropchenko, Logan Brown

2023 Draft Capital:
First Round (No. overall): 10, 25 (from TOR), 30 (from DAL)
Second Round: none
Third Round: STL, OTT
Fourth Round: STL
Fifth Round: STL
Sixth Round: STL
Seventh Round: STL

Blues Offseason Headlines

The Blues owning three picks in the first round of this year’s draft isn’t ideal; we’ve talked a good amount about the quality in this draft class. Thankfully, two of the three are in the back ten of the first round and St. Louis doesn’t own a second-round pick. But that top-ten selection will give the Blues the chance to add another quality piece (unless they look to move up with their other first-round picks as ammo).

St. Louis has been rumored to want to move some salary, especially off their blue line where Colton Parayko, Torey Krug and Justin Faulk have matching $6.5 million cap hits on long-term deals. Faulk and Krug have four years remaining on their contracts, while Parayko — the most frequently mentioned trade chip — has seven years left on his new deal.

One big question the Blues need to answer is how they feel about Jordan Binnington as their long-term answer in net. He has three more years left on a contract with a $6 million cap hit. His antics on the ice led to a few ridiculous moments, including one instance where Marc-Andre Fleury wanted to fight him. Can they get him under control and get a “good” Binnington more frequently in the future? Or will that be an issue for them moving forward?

The Blues had a prospect pool that Scott Wheeler at The Athletic ranked 19th in the NHL in his mid-season update. That group is headlined by three wings: Jimmy Snuggerud, Zachary Bolduc and Jake Neighbours.

Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab