Blues thinking big after active offseason
ST. LOUIS BLUES
LAST SEASON: 44-32-6, 94 points. Finished fourth in Central Division, one point shy of a playoff spot.
COACH: Mike Yeo (second full season, eighth NHL season).
ADDED: C Ryan O’Reilly, C Tyler Bozak, F David Perron, F Patrick Maroon, G Chad Johnson.
LOST: F Vladimir Sobotka, F Patrik Berglund, F Tage Thompson.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Ryan O’Reilly. St. Louis was active this offseason, highlighted by a blockbuster trade with Buffalo that netted the skilled O’Reilly. The 27-year-old center had 24 goals and 37 assists in his final season with the lowly Sabres. Playing for the refurbished Blues, he could be headed for a big year.
OUTLOOK: Loaded. The addition of O’Reilly, Bozak, Perron and Maroon should create a deep set of lines, and captain Alex Pietrangelo remains one of the NHL’s top defensemen. The most pressing concern for St. Louis just might be the health of high-scoring winger Vladimir Tarasenko, who is coming back from April surgery on his left shoulder.
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