The Blues cut Yan Statsny and Barry Tallackson today from their camp roster, leaving what I believe is 27 players, which are seen below. The moves are not terribly surprising, as both players have had a hard time staying up in the NHL for the better part of their careers.
|Brad Boyes||Carlo Colaiacovo||Chris Mason|
|David Backes||Barret Jackman||Ty Conklin|
|David Perron||Roman Polak||Ben Bishop|
|Keith Tkachuk||Mike Weaver|
|Patrik Berglund||Eric Brewer|
|Andy McDonald||Tyson Strachan|
|T.J. Oshie||Alex Pietrangelo|
|Alex Steen||Jonas Jundland|
|Jay McClement||Erik Johnson|
If we thought that the Blues looked pretty good at the end of last season, I think we all have another thing coming and that's primarily due to having some injured players healthy again. Paul Kariya and Erik Johnson (pictured) will return to the line-up this season after some long-term injuries and will look to make a huge impact in the Central Division. They have also added veteran forward Derek Armstrong to the mix and he's been really good in the preseason so far.
Now, the 15 forwards, 9 defense and 3 goalies that I have signed on the list above have a reasonable cap hit of $53.0 million, which is well below the cap ceiling today. The last few cuts will likely take the cap number closer to about $50 million, which will leave them ample space to maneuver, if they so choose to, at the trade deadline this season. There is no reason to think that they will be out of the playoff hunt this year, as they should have improved greatly on their roster by just getting healthy.
I'm beginning to upgrade a few more Blues players as the camps go along. Maturity and ice-time are going to be big factors when selecting these guys for your fantasy team. David Backes, David Perron, Patrik Berglund and T.J. Oshie are all in line for improvements to their production this season and you would be wise to take advantage of that, especially in the middle rounds of your draft.