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St. Louis Blues at a glance

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ST. LOUIS BLUES

LAST SEASON: 52-23-7, 111 points. Tied for third overall in Western Conference, lost in first round to Chicago.

COACH: Ken Hitchcock, third full season with Blues. 124-55-20. 657-405-178 overall in 18 seasons, seventh on career win list.

ADDED: C Paul Stastny, C Jori Lehtera, D Carl Gunnarsson, C Colin Fraser, F Robby Fabbri.

LOST: G Ryan Miller, D Roman Polak, F Vladimir Sobotka, F Brenden Morrow.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Jaden Schwartz. Signing Stastny in free agency creates open ice for everyone else. Schwartz led team at plus-28 last season and scored 25 goals.

OUTLOOK: They've been among the NHL's best regular-season teams the last few seasons, and one of the stingiest, too. Last season they allowed the third-fewest goals, plus defencemen Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk are highly productive joining the rush. They appear to have enough firepower to contend for an ever-elusive first Stanley Cup, although as usual there's plenty of competition at the top of the Western Conference.

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