Alex Pietrangelo, Scott Nichol

Offseason report: St. Louis Blues


From July 16-Aug 16, we’ll be profiling all 30 NHL teams by recapping what they did this offseason and previewing their upcoming campaigns.

2011-12 season

49-22-11, 109 points. First in the Central Division, second in the Western Conference.


Jeff Woywitka, Taylor Chorney


Jason Arnott (still unsigned), Carlo Colaiacovo (still unsigned)

2012 Draft

1st round, 25th overall — Jordan Schmaltz (Green Bay, USHL)

Looking back

GM Doug Armstrong failed to land any significant unrestricted free agents on July 1, a fact that had many Blues fans upset. However, Armstrong hasn’t been sitting around doing nothing since his team was swept by the Kings in second round.

So far this summer, the Blues have signed highly touted prospect Vladimir Tarasenko to a three year entry-level deal, re-signed RFAs David Perron and Chris Stewart, as well as re-upped with potential UFAs Barret Jackman, Jamie Langenbrunner, and Scott Nichol.

But save for Tarasenko, unless Armstrong makes a move, next year’s lineup could be extremely similar to last year’s.

Looking forward

Armstrong still has to get TJ Oshie under contract, be it via negotiation or arbitration. The Blues would like to get Oshie locked up long-term.

Suffice to say cap space is no problem for Armstrong. In fact, the Blues have yet to reach the cap floor. That said, they need to mindful of the fact Alex Pietrangelo, Kevin Shattenkirk, Chris Stewart, Patrik Berglund and Matt D’Agostini are set to become RFAs next summer, and the first two especially will be in line for big raises.

If there’s one area that must be addressed sooner or later, it’s the back end. Defensemen Jason Garrison and Matt Carle were reportedly targeted, but both chose to sign elsewhere.

Have your say

Vote in our poll and let us know what you think of the Rangers’ 2012-13 outlook in the comments section.

Ducks name Kesler alternate captain

Ryan Kesler
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For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”

On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.

With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.

“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”

As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.

It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.

Diaz could leave Rangers for Europe

Raphael Diaz, Mike Sislo
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Could Raphael Diaz be on his way back to Switzerland?

We’ll know in a month.

Diaz, who lost out on the Rangers’ final blueline spot in training camp, has reported to the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but doesn’t seem pleased with his current situation, per the Post:

The 29-year-old Diaz, who cleared waivers last Saturday after the Blueshirts opted to keep rookie Dylan McIlrath as the club’s seventh on the blue line, is interested in the European option if he is not in the NHL.

The Blueshirts have told Diaz they will revisit the situation at the end of October, but have not promised to release him or assign him to a European team at that point.

If Diaz, a Swiss native who represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, does play in Europe during the season, he would have to go through waivers in order to return to the NHL.

Diaz’s agent, Ritch Winter, told the Post that Diaz signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Rangers “to play with the Rangers.”

And it’s understandable if Diaz — a journeyman offensive defenseman — isn’t happy with this situation.

While some believe McIlrath earned his roster spot on merit, some think it’s because of his contract status. McIlrath, who’s only 23 and a former first-round pick, would’ve needed to clear waivers to go back to Hartford, and it’s believed he would’ve been claimed by another club.