Stempniak finished last season with 27 goals and 52 points, placing him 139th in the pool rankings. That's a pretty good jump from his 338th spot in his rookie season. Stempniak definitely earned his 3-year, $7.5 million deal. He's becoming a pretty solid point-getter and should be considered in that same area where he finished last season. The Blues didn't really improve too much around him this off-season, but we'll have a look at what they've done anyways.
|Paul Kariya||Doug Weight||Keith Tkachuk|
|Lee Stempniak||Brad Boyes||Martin Rucinsky|
|Petr Cajanek||Jay McClement||David Backes|
|Jamal Mayers||Dan Hinote||Ryan Johnson|
|Eric Brewer||Barrett Jackman|
|Christian Backman||Bryce Salvador|
|Jay McKee||Jeff Woywitka *|
I am a bit critical of the moves to pick up Paul Kariya and spend money on Keith Tkachuk. Stempniak may benefit from one or both of these guys, which may make him a better commodity on the pool market, but I don't think it helped the Blues goaltending to get wins. Defensively, they aren't quite the strongest as neither Brewer or Jackman have had a good run at winning as lead guys to really give confidence. Maybe that's just me. The Blues will need some great chemistry to make it through this season.
Cap-wise, the Blues without the signing of Woywitka sit at roughly $41 million against the cap. It gives them a lot of breathing room when it comes to signing another defenseman or two. Possibly another good grinding forward as a role player.
NHL, Hockey Pool, Free Agents, Signing, Hockey, St. Louis Blues, Lee Stempniak