Can the Offense Rebound?
Paul Kariya is not going to play in the 2010-11 season. Keith Tkachuk has retired. Lars Eller was shipped to Montreal as a member of the Jaroslav Halak trade. Aside from signing Vladimir Sobotka, the team has done little in terms of adding new faces amongst the forwards. Will the offense rebound from last season and be a force in 2010-11?
It might just be the one million dollar question. We have an answer in net through Jaroslav Halak. Halak should prove to be a reliable number one in net and give the Blues a true number one for the first time in years.
Defense should be exciting to watch as Erik Johnson continues to mature and Alex Pietrangelo plays in his first full season in the NHL.
And that leaves us with the offense. Clearly the front office is relying on skaters such as Brad Boyes, Patrik Berglund and David Backes to rebound from a down year and skaters such as T.J. Oshie and David Perron to take the next step forward.
The Blues are not in a position to shell out money for a price free agent, nor are they in the position to take many risks seeing as the team is still currently without an investor.
That leaves us with the majority of last season's underwhelming roster returning in the season that lies ahead.
2009-10 Stats Compared to 2008-09
Brad Boyes - 14 goals, 28 assists - 42 points (33 goals, 39 assists - 72 points in 2008-09)
Patrik Berglund - 13 goals, 13 assists - 26 points (21 goals, 26 assists - 47 points in 2008-09)
David Backes - 17 goals, 31 assists - 48 points (31 goals, 23 assists - 54 points in 2008-09)
The front office must be counting on these skaters, and a few others, to really step their games up and post similar, if not better totals to what we saw in 2008-09.
I shudder to imagine what this season will be like if these slumps weren't just one year flukes.