As the calendar continues drawing closer to the opening of training camps across the NHL, we’re taking time to look around the new-look Central Division at the Blackhawks’ opponents for the coming season.
After discussing the Coyotes, Avalanche, Stars, Wild and Predators, let’s now turn our eyes south to the Hawks’ hated rivals in St. Louis. What’s going on with the Blues?
- Expansion Draft: Vince Dunn
- Key Losses: Jaden Schwartz, Mike Hoffman, Tyler Bozak, Sammy Blais, Carl Gunnarsson
- Key Additions: Pavel Buchnevich, Brandon Saad
- 2021-22 Cap Space: 1,531,151
The gap didn’t do the Blues any favors being stuck this year and their losses were significant. Losing Dunn to Seattle was an understandable loss and a pretty big one for the Blues. When Schwartz joined him with the Kraken it was another tough blow to St. Louis’ roster. They also lost Hoffman and Bozak up front which hits their depth significantly. And we still don’t have a trade of Vladimir Tarasenko, who has made his desire to leave clear.
Buchnevich is going to be a pain in the ass for years. He’s a really nice player the Rangers let go for cheap because of their own cap concerns. Adding Saad to the mix helps to offset some of their losses up front.
What Does It Mean?
The Blues appear to be a work in progress still. Again, Tarasenko wants out so we’ll see how that plays out. But they took some big hits up front and were able to do a modest job replacing them. It’ll suck seeing Saad in a St. Louis sweater but at least he isn’t in Colorado any more.