2012 NHL Entry Draft - Rounds 2-7

Blues owner says team’s cap number will be ‘very respectable’


From the Post-Dispatch’s Q&A with Blues owner Tom Stillman, on his team’s current financial state:

Q: How is the organization doing financially?

Stillman: We’re doing better. We’re more stable. But we have a ways to go to reach our goal of being a really sound, stable franchise with a secure long-term future. We still have some work to do.

Q: The 2013-14 season was one in which the NHL salary cap came down and the Blues’ payroll increased, putting the club near the $64.3 million cap ceiling. With the cap projected at $71.1 million in 2014-15, where do you foresee the club’s budget?

Stillman: We haven’t decided on an absolute, final salary number, but I know that we’ll put a competitive team on the ice and our cap number will be very respectable.

Per CapGeek, the Blues have 18 players signed for next season, for a cap payroll of just over $48 million. So even with an internal budget and RFAs like Patrik Berglund, Vladimir Sobotka and Jaden Schwartz to re-sign, there’s room for general manager Doug Armstrong to operate in free agency, if that’s an avenue he wants to explore. A second-line center may be worth adding, at the right price.

Stillman took over as owner two years ago, making no promises to spend to the cap. Obviously, the team’s first-round elimination in this year’s playoffs didn’t help, financially speaking. St. Louis had just three home playoff dates, the same disappointing number as last year. The Blues have won just two playoff series since reaching the conference finals in 2001.

Related: Armstrong wonders if the Blues need a ‘different formula’ on offense

Raffl coverts PTO into one-year, $575K deal with Jets

Leave a comment

There’s another Raffl in the NHL.

On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.

Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.

“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.

With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.

For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.

Flyers to start season with seven d-men; MacDonald sent to AHL

Andrew MacDonald, Matt Calvert
1 Comment

Seven defensemen will comprise the Philadelphia Flyers’ opening-day roster, which the club finalized today.

Those seven are Radko Gudas, Michael Del Zotto, Luke Schenn, Nick Schultz, Brandon Manning, Mark Streit, and Evgeny Medvedev.

Not on the list? Andrew MacDonald, who has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Lehigh Valley. (That move allowed the Flyers to keep both Manning and youngster Scott Laughton.)

Also not on the list were prospects Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Sam Morin, Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim. The first three will start the season in the AHL. The last two have been sent back to junior.

But the opening-day roster is not where this story ends. How the Flyers’ defensive mix changes as the season progresses will be worth watching.

They’d no doubt love to move Schenn, a pending unrestricted free agent with a $3.6 million cap hit. He could also end up in the AHL, a la MacDonald.

Medvedev, the 33-year-old who came over from the KHL and put up five points in five preseason games, is another pending UFA. The club could either look to re-sign or flip him.

Might 37-year-old Streit be a chip worth cashing in at the deadline, especially if the Flyers aren’t in a playoff position on Feb. 29? He’s only got two years left on his contract.

Meanwhile, GM Ron Hextall will be watching pending restricted free agents Manning and Gudas closely. Are they part of the future?

So, lots of decisions to make in Philly as the blue line continues its much-needed transition.