The management team of the St. Louis Blues would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our loyal fans for an incredible first year.
We honestly believe you are the greatest fans on this earth!
We know it’s been a disappointing year as we came just shy of making the playoffs. It’s been an up and down year that has seen our team win 6 in a row in early February, but also endure two 5-game losing streaks. The disappointment only grew further when we lost 6 of our last 7 games of the season when we had the wild card in our sights.
We are encouraged that we were involved in 34 one-goal games this year, but we need to find a way to win those games as we had an 11-23 losing record in those games. It will be on the coaching staff and management team to figure that out for next season.
While having had a bit a revolving door of players and know fans were disappointed to see veteran leaders Sidney Crosby, Brent Burns, Claude Giroux and Victor Hedman leave, we now believe we have found a nucleus of young players we can build around for future seasons. The future is bright!
We are thrilled with progress of young stars, 20-year-old Jesperi Kotkaniemi (25 goals), Jack Roslovic (23 goals), Alexander Wennberg (15 goals) and Alex Lafreniere (14 goals) in just over half a season. The Blues have young forward stars Oliver Wahlstrom (21), Daniel Torgersson (19), and Alexis Heponiemi (22) gaining valuable experience on the farm this year and ready to take the next step when called upon.
We locked our emotional leader and physical presence Tom Wilson for years to come. We brought in who we believe is one of the most prolific scorers in Artemi Panarin and will look to partner him with a playmaking center next year. Let’s not forget the wonderful job Paul Byron did this season with 27 goals and 34 assists.
Our defense has undergone a major reconstruction since the draft last year. It is now anchored with what we believe to be the best one-two punch in Seth Jones and Oscar Klefbom. We will look to add a couple more defensemen in the offseason to compliment them.
We outscored our opponents by +12 over the course of the year (only 7 teams did it better) while being assessed the most PIM in the league and having the 6th least amount of power play opportunities.
In net, Carter Hart performed well for us in our first season while only being 22 years old. In the off-season the search will be on to pair him with another goalie to lessen his workload. His young age allows us to not rush any of our other goalies in the system.
Our management team is busy scouting for the Entry Draft in September and are thrilled we have 2nd overall pick as well as 14th overall pick. Presently we own 7 of the top 96 picks and will look to add to our prospect pool.
Blues fans, I am encouraged. I hope you are too and I can’t wait to see you all again next year cheering on the best team in BEARD Hockey!!
St. Louis Blues Chairman