Now that John Davidson has confirmed that the Blues are sticking to the roster they already have, we can start breaking down the kind of team the Blues will have for the upcoming season. Let's start with the forwards:
David Backes - big and strong, was a veteran at the development camp last month, has matured a great deal and shoulc score many goals if he just drives to the net
Brad Boyes - great potential, will be interesting to see what he can do in a full year with the Blues. Is the speedy scorer that will contribute a great deal to tthe offens
Petr Cajanek - Petr quietly had his best year with the Blues last season with 15 goals and 33 assists for 48 points. However, the development camp has shown that the Blues have several centers that will make a push to make the Blues roster next year (Oshie, Berglund, Birner, Linglet) so it leaves Cajanek possibly expendable
Dan Hinote - Back healthy once again, you know what you get with Hinote: a scrappy pest who irritates the other team and draws penalties. Gives the Blues toughness and heart.
Ryan Johnson - Johnson and Hinote will have to fill the toughness and grit that will be gone with Dallas Drake's absense. Johnson goes 100% every shift and is a speedy player who will score a goal from time to time.
Paul Kariya - This guy will catapult the Blues to an instant contender in the Central Division and the Western Conference. His signing will result in the Blues AT LEAST making the playoffs this year. The power-play will be so much better as well.
Jamal Mayers - Has become a goal scorer the last two years for the Blues and is always speedy and is a hard worker on the ice. He is a real asset for the Blues on the penalty-kill.
Jay McClement - Is a very solid forward that does the little things, including kill penalties.
Martin Rucinsky - A highly skilled artist with the puck and can do pretty much anything on the ice. Has the ability to score and be a dangerous threat.
Lee Stempniak - Had a great year scoring 27 goals last year and cashed in. Now he should only keep getting better and should score 30 goals this season.
Keith Tkachuk - If he plants himself in front of the net, he will score 30 goals. Here are his goal totals in his five full seasons with the Blues: 38, 31, 33, 15, 27 (7 came with the Thrashers). Although he has aged and has suffered some chronic injuries in the last two years, Tkachuk still has the potential to revive his career and once again become a 30-goal scorer.
Doug Weight - Is the veteran leader with great playoff experience if the Blues make the playoffs. His assist total may sky rocket if guys like Stempniak, Boyes, Kariya, Tkachuk and the rest of the team keep scoring.
Overall, the Blues' forwards are a great mix of veteran and young players that have a real potential to gel fabulously. Paul Kariya seems to be the key piece to the puzzle that will make help Doug Weight make the offense go round.
Defenseman Analysis on my next Blog