The Blues' Summer roster that I have had posted filled up awfully quickly at forward and in net, leaving some holes on the blueline yet to be filled. They currently are sitting with five defensemen on their Summer roster, so you would have to expect that they will be looking to find adequate skaters to fill the other two spots for the season. I have a feeling that we'll see Alex Pietrangelo earn himself a full-time spot on the team, while the other spot will likely be left to a depth player, who will either play in the 7th spot or be in the press box every other game.
Some of the forwards may be on a shorter leash, working on the bubble, especially with talent like T.J. Hensick waiting in the wings, since he has plenty of experience already, coming from the Avalanche.
|Andy McDonald||Erik Johnson||Jaroslav Halak|
|T.J. Oshie||Carlo Colaiacovo||Ty Conklin|
|David Perron||Roman Polak|
|David Backes||Barret Jackman|
|Alex Steen||Eric Brewer|
|Adam Cracknell||Dean Arsene||Jake Allen|
|Stefan Della Rovere||Daryl Boyle||Ben Bishop|
|Nick Drazenovic||Ian Cole||Gerald Coleman|
|T.J. Hensick||Mark Cundari|
|Nick MacNeil||Brennan Evans|
|Philip McRae||Nikita Nikitin|
|Graham Mink||Nathan Oystrick|
|Anthony Nigro||Alex Pietrangelo|
|Anthony Peluso||Brett Ponich|
|Chris Porter||Tyson Strachan|
The Blues are definitely operating under a team-enforced budget this year, since their current number is just above the salary cap floor at the moment. With 20 players on their Summer roster, one buyout on their books, they are currently sitting at an annual salary cap hit total of $44.2 million, only $800,000 over the floor. Of course, adding in the projected cap hit of Pietrangelo and one more defenseman should bump that number up to a better projection, the Blues may still have some sort of flexibility, if the season calls for a little more help.
The additions the Blues made in this off-season were very few. Jaroslav Halak proves to be the only big name picked up and it was a move that should help out the side greatly. Halak put in some solid minutes for the Canadiens in 2010, especially in the playoffs, which is possibly a little more credibility than what Chris Mason was giving them in the past couple years. This upgrade behind a hard working team might instill some confidence in the blueliners and forwards, which could translate into some more points.