Shortly after Tom Stillman took over as owner of the St. Louis Blues last May, he said he didn’t envision the club being a cap team anytime soon.
Well, that was then. One new CBA later and the Blues are flirting with the $64.3-million ceiling.
On Saturday, St. Louis inked play-making center Derek Roy to a one-year, $4 million deal. According to CapGeek, the Blues now have a cap payroll of $57.9 million…and they still have to sign restricted free agents Alex Pietrangelo, the team’s best defenseman, winger Chris Stewart, its leading scorer from last year, and Jake Allen, the promising young goalie.
“I think we’re going to be able to get everyone under the umbrella,” general manager Doug Armstrong said, per the Post-Dispatch, “and if need be, we have very valuable pieces — if we have to move players, that’s not going to be an issue finding a home for them.”
Stewart is one name that’s been mentioned in trade speculation, and based on what power forwards got on Friday in free agency, the big 25-year-old could garner a pretty good return.
Jaroslav Halak is another trade candidate, though the market for goalies may be a bit dry now.
One more name: winger David Perron, who was reportedly dangled at the draft. The 25-year-old has three years remaining on his deal, with a cap hit of $3.8 million.
As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.
Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.
While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.
It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.
One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.
Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.
Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.
Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?
Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.
The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.
The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:
That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.
Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:
Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.
Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.