ST. LOUIS - Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong has some decisions to make this weekend.
Free agency opens at 11 a.m. on Friday, which gives Armstrong an opportunity to add anyone without a contract to his roster as long as he can fit them under the NHL/NHLPA-imposed $73 million salary cap for the 2016-17 season.
While it can be a very exciting time with the additions of new players, the start of free agency can also be very nerve-wrecking as unrestricted free agents like David Backes, Troy Brouwer and Steve Ott could sign elsewhere.
"We're talking to our own free agents and hopefully we get some of these guys signed," Armstrong said. "Then we'll look at a pool of the guys available. I've talked to a few guys already and we'll talk more this week."
Two seasons ago, the NHL introduced a free agency interview period that allows general managers to reach out to pending unrestricted free agents around the League to express their interest.
That interview period began June 25.
"You tell them a little bit about your city and what you're trying to accomplish as a team," Armstrong said. "I've reached out to seven or eight players and talked to them directly, to let them know why we think they're a good fit. When a player is making decisions, the money is near the forefront of what they're going to make it on, but they want to see some vision on how it's going to work out. The interview period allows you to share your vision with them."
The Blues have already signed restricted free agent Dmitrij Jaskin and unrestricted free agents Scottie Upshall and Kyle Brodziak.
But what will the next few days, or weeks, have in store?
We'll find out soon enough, but here's what we know entering July 1:
SIGNED: Scottie Upshall (one year), Kyle Brodziak (two years), Dmitrij Jaskin (two years), Jordan Caron (one year)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: David Backes, Troy Brouwer, Steve Ott, Chris Butler, Andre Benoit, Pat Cannone, Justin Hodgman, Danny Kristo, Jeremy Welsh, Peter Harrold
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: Jaden Schwartz, Magnus Paajarvi, Anders Nilsson, Cody Beach, Jordan Binnington, Pheonix Copley, Jacob Doty, Ty Rattie, Ryan Tesink, Yannick Veilleux