Welcome to the start of our offseason initiative — 30 teams in 30 days.
From now until Aug. 14 we’ll be dedicating each day to a new team by recapping the offseason and looking ahead to 2012-13.
There will also be a series of posts looking at key stories, player profiles and burning questions regarding each squad.
Today, we continue with the St. Louis Blues.
After missing the playoffs in all but one post-lockout season, the Blues responded to the early hire of Ken Hitchcock to win the Central Division. They collected 109 standings points (49-22-11) but were ultimately swept by the Los Angeles Kings in the second round.
The Blues’ biggest offseason move might just be re-signing Chris Stewart after a disappointing season. For the most part, GM Doug Armstrong seems content to nurture the team’s promising young players rather than loading up on free agents.
He still has some work to do in keeping everyone together, however, as T.J. Oshie’s arbitration hearing is rapidly approaching while the Blues must make a decision regarding Carlo Colaiacovo.
Can the Blues build on a breakthrough season? Stick around PHT today for more on that and other questions.
The Los Angeles Kings announced today that they have “reached an agreement with Mike Richards to resolve the grievance filed in relation to the termination of his NHL Standard Players Contract. The terms are agreeable to all parties.”
The club said that it will not be commenting further “on the terms” of the settlement.
The NHLPA released a similar statement.
It was reported earlier in the week that a settlement was close to being reached; however, it wasn’t clear what salary-cap penalties the Kings would incur.
We’re starting to find out some details now:
How the final numbers differ from what the Kings would have incurred if they’d bought Richards out will be interesting to see. And if there are differences, how will they be justified?
Aaron Ward, a 16-year NHL veteran that appeared in over 800 career games, has been arrested for “assault on a female,” per WNCN.
Ward was arrested on Friday in Cary, North Carolina and also charged with interfering with emergency communication, according to the report.
Currently working as an analyst for TSN, Ward spent five years of his career in Carolina, helping the ‘Canes capture the Stanley Cup in 2006.
Update: Per WRAL, Ward’s wife called 9-1-1 after the two had a confrontation around 1 p.m. ET. Police confirmed Ward was arrested at his home in Cary.
According to the warrant for his arrest, he took away his wife’s phone.
Because of the nature of his charges, Ward will spend a mandatory 48 hours in the Wake County jail. Anyone arrested on a domestic violence charge is held for 48 hours before bail is set.
And here’s a statement from TSN: