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Blues thinking big after active offseason

September 25, 2018

FILE - In this April 4, 2018, file photo, St. Louis Blues' Vladimir Tarasenko, of Russia, is congratulated by teammates Jaden Schwartz (17) and Alex Pietrangelo (27) after scoring during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Chicago Blackhawks, in St. Louis. The Blues begion their season on Oct. at home against Winnipeg. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

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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