The St. Louis Blues just narrowly missed out on making the playoffs this season, losing in regulation to the Colorado Avalanche in their regular season finale – the only result that could have eliminated them from the postseason picture. To add insult to injury, the Blues have also played the 2017-18 season without an AHL affiliate, leaving fans without the consolation prize of at least watching a team of St. Louis prospects make a playoff run. Nevertheless, the team has assigned goalie Ville Husso and defenseman Chris Butler to the San Antonio Rampage, the team with the majority of the Blues’ minor league prospects. Yet, the Rampage sit in last place in the extremely tight AHL Pacific Division with just three games remaining. Dejected Blues fans may have to follow Beau Bennett and Wade Megan with the Chicago Wolves or Jordan Binnington with the Providence Bruins if they want a horse in the race come AHL playoff time.
- Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving told the Canadian Press that his team has a “laundry list” of issues to sort out this off-season. After making the postseason last year and, as the article notes, adding Mike Smith and Travis Hamonic last summer, missing the playoffs this year can only be seen as a disappointment and Treliving is ready to make changes. At the top of that “laundry list” is deciding what to do with head coach Glen Gulutzan. Beyond that, one list item specifically mentioned by Treliving is figuring out how to fix the Flames’ tepid power play, which finished 29th in the league and only got worse as the season wore on. As Treliving puts it, “In a league where the margins are thin, it’s not surprising that the teams that are successful in (special teams) usually have successful years, so it was critical.”
- One team that will be far less active this off-season are the Vancouver Canucks. Jeff Paterson of TSN gets the feeling that this could be one of the quietest Canuck off-seasons in years. President Trevor Linden spoke with the media today and stated that “Obviously on a day like this, we’re disappointed by not achieving all of our goals. At the same time, we’re encouraged as an organization with where we are moving forward. I think this group has an identity with its young players. That’s exciting” Paterson read this statement as saying that after back-to-back busy summers, the team is disappointed in its performance, but with a young core and plenty of depth in talented prospects, this is a team moving in the right direction. For that reason, Paterson hypothesizes that it could be a “wait and see”-type summer, writing “Outside of the National Hockey League draft lottery and the draft itself, don’t be the least bit surprised if you don’t hear a peep from the Vancouver Canucks until training camp.”