Tag: Keith Aucoin

Phoenix Coyotes v St. Louis Blues

It’s St. Louis Blues day on PHT


Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team? The St. Louis Blues.

Last season, the Blues again played a tough, physical brand of hockey and found their way to the postseason with hopes of a Stanley Cup. Once again, however, they found their hopes dashed in a loss to the Los Angeles Kings.

After another disappointing exit, Ken Hitchcock’s team looks to once again clamp down on the Western Conference.

After rumors of late-season discord proved to be untrue, they head into the new season with some minor changes being made and more goaltending than they may know what to do with. Can Hitchcock’s gang learn from their recent postseason disappointments and take the next step? That, friends, is the million dollar question.

Offseason recap

The Blues were odd this summer in that they seemed to not do much but were very busy. They were taken by surprise by Andy McDonald’s sudden decision to retire thanks to concussions and replaced him with free agent playmaking center Derek Roy. He and captain David Backes could become a scoring duo right away.

Acquiring centers was the thing for them to do as they also added Keith Aucoin and Alexandre Bolduc for depth and Maxim Lapierre for extra special added annoyance, even though he’d rather be in Montreal.

Their most notable move was dealing David Perron to Edmonton for young winger Magnus Paajarvi (link). Perron had reached the end of his rope with Hitchcock and the Oilers ran out of patience with Paajarvi. Hey, a mutually beneficial change of scenery deal!

St. Louis wasn’t too active in signing other team’s players because GM Doug Armstrong had a host of their own to take care of. Restricted free agents Chris Stewart, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Patrik Berglund all inked new deals.

Meanwhile, prized defenseman Alex Pietrangelo still remains unsigned. At least the Blues have plenty of cap space to fend off any potential offer sheets.

Provided Pietrangelo gets back in the mix (and he will) the Blues will be strong once again and will have to deal with Chicago and Minnesota in the new Central Division for the playoffs. Getting to the postseason is nice and all, but they have a bigger goal in mind.


Introducing: PHT’s ‘Team of the Day’ summer series

Armstrong: St. Louis is where ‘good players want to be’

Doug Armstrong AP

Shortly after locking in Jay Bouwmeester, Blues GM Doug Armstrong talked up his hockey club.

“We’re entering a new phase in our organization with this current group,” he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Now we’re a place where good players want to be.”

It’s hard to argue against him.

Over the course of the summer, St. Louis retained all of its key free agents — Kevin Shattenkirk, Chris Stewart, Patrik Berglund, Jordan Leopold, Jake Allen — while adding depth at forward in the form of Derek Roy, Maxim Lapierre and Keith Aucoin.

Armstrong also got proactive by inking Bouwmeester to a five-year, $27 million extension, even though the defenseman had a year remaining on his deal.

The only thing left now is to re-up with key RFA defenseman Alex Pietrangelo. According to Armstrong, the club will do “what is necessary” to get it done.

Overall it’s a pretty bold statement out of St. Louis, a team that’s always been spend-conscious.

Last year, the club operated roughly $18 million under the salary cap ceiling; in 2011-12, they were around $9 million shy; in 2010-11 they were nearly $15 million under.

At the time of writing, the Blues were just $8 million under the cap with Pietrangelo still left to sign.

That, plus the team’s young core and a stable of talented draftees still on entry-level deals — Vladimir Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz, Ty Rattie, Dmitrij Jaskin — makes it no surprise that players are excited about St. Louis.

“It was exciting when I talked to Jay and his representation,” Armstrong said. “They felt this was a team that was on the rise and a team that he wanted to be part of.”

PHT’s 2013 NHL Free Agent Tracker

Nathan Horton

Friday, July 5 is the official start of the National Hockey League’s free agency period (at 12 p.m. ET).

Check back regularly for updates as we keep track of all the signings from what promises to be a busy transaction period.

Note: We’ve included a few deals announced prior to July 5, which came as a result of the NHL’s compliance buyout window. None of them can be made official until Friday.

source: Getty Images

July 8

Matt Gilroy signs in Florida: one-year, two-way (link)

Chris Mueller signs in Dallas: n/a (link)

Kevin Poulin re-signs in New York (Islanders): one-year, n/a (link)

Joe Corvo signs in Ottawa: one year, $900,000 (link)

Ryan McDonagh re-signs in New York (Rangers): six years, $28.2 million (link)

Tyson Strachan signs in Washington: n/a (link)

July 7

Frédéric St-Denis signs in Columbus: one year, two-way (link)

Darcy Zajac signs in New Jersey: two year, two-way (link)

Jack Skille signs in Columbus: one year, two-way (link)

Matt Beleskey re-signs in Anaheim: two years, $2.7 million (link)

July 6

Alexander Sulzer re-signs in Buffalo: one year, N/A (link)

Drew Bagnall signs in Buffalo: multi-year, N/A

Mike Santorelli signs in Vancouver: N/A (link)

David Kolomatis signs in Washington: one year, two-way

Andrew Gordon signs in Winnipeg: N/A

Jerome Samson signs in Winnipeg: N/A

John Albert signs in Winnipeg: N/A

Richard Bachman signs in Edmonton: one year, N/A (link)

Adam Pardy signs in Winnipeg: one year, $600,000 (link)

Derek Roy signs in St. Louis: one year, $4 million (link)

Stefan Fournier signs in Montreal: three years, two way

Ryan Jones re-signs in Edmonton: one year, N/A (link)

July 5

Nikolai Khabibulin signs in Chicago: one year, $2 million (link)

Jonathan Bernier signs in Toronto: two years, $5.8 million (link)

Jarome Iginla signs in Boston: one year, $6 million (link)

Matt Cooke signs in Minnesota: three years, $7.5 million (link)

Benoit Pouliot signs in New York (Rangers): one year, $1.3 million (link)

Michael Ryder signs in New Jersey: two years, $7 million (link)

Maxim Lapierre signs in St. Louis: two years, $2.2 million (link)

Carter Hutton signs in Nashville: one year, $550,000

Mike McKenna signs in Columbus: n/a

Saku Koivu re-signs in Anaheim: one year, $2.5 million (link)

Craig Adams re-signs in Pittsburgh: two years, $1.4 million (link)

Rostislav Olesz signs in New Jersey: one year, $1 million

TJ Brennan signs in Toronto: one year, $600,000

Michael Stone re-signs in Phoenix: n/a

Chris Butler re-signs in Calgary: one year, $1.7 million

Brad Richardson signs in Vancouver: two years, $2.3 million

Jeff Schultz signs in Los Angeles: one year, $700,000 (link)

Yannick Weber signs in Vancouver: one year, $650,000

Travis Hamonic re-signs in New York (Islanders): seven years, $27 million (link)

Anton Khudobin signs in Carolina: one year, $800,000 (link)

Eric Nystrom signs in Nashville: four years, $10 million (link)

Dominic Moore signs in New York (Rangers): one year, $1 million (link)

Valtteri Filppula signs in Tampa Bay: five years, $25 million (link)

Dan Ellis signs in Dallas: two years, $1.8 million (link)

Nick Holden, JT Wyman, Guillaume Desbiens sign in Colorado: n/a

Ryan Hamilton signs in Edmonton: n/a

Aaron Johnson signs in New York (Rangers): one year, $600,000

Matt Hendricks signs in Nashville: four years, $7.4 million (link)

Stephen Weiss signs in Detroit: five years, $24.5 million (link)

Mark Mancari, Alexandre Bolduc sign in St. Louis: n/a

Matt Cullen signs in Nashville: two years, $7 million (link)

David Clarkson signs in Toronto: seven years, $36.75 million (link)

Clarke MacArthur signs in Ottawa: two years, $6.5 million (link)

Tyler Bozak re-signs in Toronto: five years, $21 million (link)

Viktor Stalberg signs in Nashville: four years, $12 million (link)

Jared Spurgeon re-signs in Minnesota: three years, $8 million (link)

Scott Hannan (one year, $1 million), Tyler Kennedy (two years, $4.7 million) re-sign in San Jose (link)

Michal Handzus, Michal Rozsival re-sign in Chicago: n/a (link)

Pierre-Marc Bouchard signs in New York (Islanders): one year, $2 million (link)

Ryane Clowe signs in New Jersey: five years, $24.25 million (link)

Rob Scuderi signs in Pittsburgh: four years, $13.5 million (link)

Mike Mottau signs in Florida: n/a (link)

Yann Danis signs in Philadelphia: n/a (link)

Jesse Joensuu signs in Edmonton: n/a (link)

Keith Aucoin signs in St. Louis: one year, $625,000 (link)

Andre Benoit signs in Colorado: one year, $900,000 (link)

Jason LaBarbera, Boyd Gordon sign in Edmonton: n/a (link)

Nathan Horton signs in Columbus: seven years, $37.1 million (link)

Mike Ribeiro signs in Phoenix: four years, $22 million (link)

Mike Komisarek signs in Carolina: one year, $700,000 (link)

Frazer McLaren re-signs in Toronto: two years, $1.4 million (link)

Kyle Chipchura re-signs in Phoenix: n/a (link)

Thomas Greiss signs in Phoenix: one year, $750,000 (link)

Joey Crabb signs in Florida: two years, $1.2 million (link)

Ray Emery signs with Philadelphia: one year, $1.65 million (link)

Daniel Alfredsson signs with Detroit: one year, $5.5 million (link)

Peter Regin signs with New York Islanders: one year, $750,000 (link)

Andrew Ference signs with Edmonton: four years, $13 million (link)

Evgeni Nabokov signs with New York Islanders: one year, $3.25 million (link)

July 4

Daniel Briere signs with Montreal: two years, $8 million (link)

Keith Ballard signs with Minnesota: two years, $3 million (link)

July 2

Vincent Lecavalier signs with Philadelphia: five years, $22.5 million (link)

Roundup: Aucoin to Blues, Benoit to Avs and Philly gets another goalie


Some more minor signings to pass along:

— Keith Aucoin has agreed to a one-year, $625,000 deal with St. Louis. Excellent value pickup for the Blues, as Aucoin was a solid contributor for the Islanders last year, scoring 12 points in 41 regular season games and three in six playoff appearances.

— Colorado has inked ex-Ottawa defenseman Andre Benoit to a one-year, $900,000 deal. Benoit, 29, appeared in 33 games for the Sens last year, scoring 10 points.

— The Flyers have inked journeyman goalie Yann Danis to a one-year, two-way deal. Danis has spent time with the Montreal, New York (Islanders), New Jersey and Edmonton organizations, and has made 50 career NHL appearances. He seems destined to be Philly’s No. 3 goalie next year behind Ray Emery and Steve Mason.

— Journeyman Mike Mottau has signed with the Florida Panthers on a one-year deal. He was with the Leafs organization last year.

— Ex-Isles forward Jesse Joensuu has signed a two-year pact with Edmonton. Financial terms have not yet been released. Injuries limited him to just seven regular-season games with the Isles last year.

Isles prep for ‘huge’ final home game of regular season

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders

Schedule makers didn’t do the New York Islanders any favors with their end-of-season stretch.

But for now, the team isn’t focusing on the negatives.

The Isles will play their final home game of the regular season on Tuesday against Florida — then set out on a five-game road swing to finish the year.

Needless to say, New York recognizes the importance of tonight’s affair.

“It’s huge,” forward Keith Aucoin told Newsday. “We had a real physical and emotionally draining game against the Rangers [on Saturday]. We have to make sure we play with the same effort.

“We need to finish our home games with a win, not only that it’s important to the standings. It’s almost a must-win game for us.”

After tonight’s game, the Isles will set out on a trip through Toronto, Winnipeg, Carolina, Philadelphia and Buffalo, with the final two contests of the year coming in a back-to-back situation (Flyers on Apr. 25; Sabres on Apr. 26).

It’s not an ideal schedule — no team wants to play its final home game 10 days before the end of the regular season — but few teams are better equipped to deal with an extended period away from home.

The Isles have one of the best road records in the East this season (12-5-2) and have secured at least a point in seven of their last eight road games.

Speaking of points, New York heads into tonight’s action holding the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference, three points clear of ninth-place Winnipeg and one up on the eighth-place Rangers.

Needless to say, points are at a premium. There are 12 left for grabs, and leading scorer John Tavares wants them all.

“Obviously, 12 is what we’d like to get,” he said. “Obviously, earn as many of these 12 as we can. Every game, we need results. It’s a big game, it’s our final game at home.

“We want to take advantage of that, finish the year at home on a good note.”