St. Louis is set to have a busy summer ahead in dealing with restricted free agents and finding other ways to improve the Blues roster, but GM Doug Armstrong locked up one of the more important guys today. Centerman Patrik Berglund has been improving himself and his play in St. Louis over the years and after coming off a season that saw him come up with career highs in goals (22) and assists (30) the Blues want to keep him around to see what else he’s got to offer.
Berglund signed a two year contract today to avoid restricted free agency and became the first of eight restricted free agents to re-sign with the team. At a total worth of $4.5 million and a cap hit of $2.25 over the next two seasons, Berglund will be locked into what could be evolving into a very talented stable of young forwards.
The Blues will be busy trying to also get guys like T.J. Oshie, Roman Polak, B.J. Crombeen, Matt D’Agostini, and Vladimir Sobotka re-signed this summer to try and keep things moving upward for St. Louis. With Cam Janssen and Ty Conklin as unrestricted free agents as well, there’s potential the Blues could see a significant shake up this summer.
For Berglund, however, this is a confirmation in the faith the team has in him after what’s been three solid seasons in St. Louis. Over that time Berglund has 56 goals and 125 points and he’s just 22years-old (he turns 23 in two days). Provided the Blues keep Oshie in the fold and guys like David Backes and Chris Stewart improve and David Perron can get back on the ice, the Blues have a nice set of young forwards heading into the future.
Milbury, Jones: Tkachuk walked the walk; Kings’ response was embarrassing
The Los Angeles Kings got revenge on Matthew Tkachuk and the Calgary Flames on the scoreboard on Wednesday. But was that 4-1 win enough?
Mike Milbury and Keith Jones provided a lengthy “overtime” segment on NBCSN that brought about some really fascinating takes on the situation between Tkachuk and the Flames versus Drew Doughty and the Los Angeles Kings.
Watch the full video above, as it’s worth your time.
A few interesting lines if you’re (tsk tsk) skipping it:
Milbury: Believes that Doughty didn’t “do enough,” noting that star players sometimes have to stick up for themselves. On the other hand, Tkachuk showed that he can “walk the walk.”
He also gave the Kings a “C-, D+ if not worse” for their overall response. “Fight your own battles,” Milbury said of Doughty.
Jones disagreed to some extent, believing that Kings teammates won’t look at Doughty differently. But Jake Muzzin? He believes that Muzzin’s frequent defensive partner (at least over the years, maybe not this season) backing down from a fight was an embarrassment.
"I don't think the Kings look at Doughty differently…Muzzin to back down from that fight on 1st shift is an embarrassment." – Keith Jones https://t.co/KI9dx8Rirx
For what it’s worth, Drew Doughty has one career fight (against Joe Thornton [!] in 2011-2) while Jake Muzzin’s lone bout came against Andrew Desjardins in 2012-13, according to Hockey Fights. Does that mean they shouldn’t have dropped the gloves on Wednesday? Milbury and Jones seem to believe that they should have answered the bell.
Deep down, the Los Angeles Kings probably realize that their season will end on game 82. Still, they kept their slim playoff hopes alive on Wednesday night … and managed to spite a team they’re growing to hate.
OK, maybe the hate is almost totally focused upon Matthew Tkachuk, yet the disdain for that talented-but-tormenting rookie was palpable.
It didn’t feel like the Kings exacted physical revenge on Tkachuk, but beating his team 4-1 ranked as classic scoreboard vengeance. With that, the Calgary Flames (and by extension the St. Louis Blues) will need to wait to clinch a playoff berth.
Now, as much as tonight was about Tkachuk, the focus was also on a pugnacious player who once dazzled for the Flames: Jarome Iginla.
In what might be Iginla’s final visit to Calgary – at least as an active NHL player – he was one of the best players on the ice. His fitting curtain call included a “Gordie Howe hat trick” with a spirited fight, an assist and a goal.
It’s official: the NHL will hold preseason games in China before next season.
The league made the announcement on Wednesday night: the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks will play two exhibitions: one on Sept. 21 (Shanghai) and Sept. 23 (Beijing). How cool is that?
“It is a privilege and an honor for the L.A. Kings to represent the National Hockey League in China as part of these two games against the Vancouver Canucks,” Kings president Luc Robitaille said. “Growing the game of hockey is something we take great pride in and it is a big priority for our hockey club and AEG as a whole. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our players and our staff, and we are looking forward to the games taking place in two tremendous facilities in two remarkable cities.”