While fans would like to see the St. Louis Blues move on from starting goaltender Jake Allen, that’s not likely to happen, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeff Gordon in a reader chat. The main reason Allen isn’t going anywhere is that there are no better goaltenders available in free agency and via trade this offseason. The team’s best bet is to make sure they lock up backup Carter Hutton and use that combination for one more season.
Allen’s play has declined after a strong start. In fact, his numbers have steadily declined over the last four years, putting up a 2.28 GAA in 2014-15, followed with a 2.35 GAA in 2015-16, a 2.42 GAA in 2016-17 and a 2.75 GAA this season. Gordon also points out that the answer to the team’s goalie issues is more likely to arrive in 2019-20 when Ville Husso arrives as he is most likely going to stay in the AHL for one more season developing his skills and serving as a third-string goaltender for the Blues. Husso had a 2.42 GAA and a .922 save percentage in 38 games with the San Antonio Rampage.
- Gordon also says that general manager Doug Armstrong said that defenseman Joel Edmundson shouldn’t expect a big payday this offseason. The 24-year-old will be a restricted free agent this year, but the team is unlikely to give Edmudson a long-term offer at this point and might have to fight for a quality contract through arbitration this year. Edmundson, who made $1.05MM this season should get a raise, but the team has already handed out sizeable deals to Alex Pietrangelo (two years remaining at $6.5MM) and Colton Parayko (four years left at $5.5MM) and still must pay veteran Jay Bouwmeester one more year at $5.4MM. One year from now, however, the team could lock Edmundson up. He keeps improving, putting up a career high seven goals this year.
- Gordon writes that Armstrong has said he wants to add a top-six forward, preferably a center to the team this offseason. With the free-agent market heavy in wingers, the Blues might have to consider a trade, suggesting the team should attempt to pry Ryan Nugent-Hopkins from Edmonton or Ryan O’Reilly from Buffalo. While the Oilers have stated they will not move Nugent-Hopkins, O’Reilly might be a different story in Buffalo.
- While Gordon writes that there is no news on prospect Robby Fabbri, who missed the season after tearing his ACL twice in the same knee, there is plenty of concern. Because of his injuries, there is plenty of concern of whether he will ever turn out to be the prospect they hoped he would be.