Brian Elliott and Jake Allen are expected to share goaltending duties again for the St. Louis Blues next season, general manager Doug Armstrong told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Wednesday.
Elliott and Allen each is entering the final season of his contract, but Armstrong is content with the tandem that helped the Blues to a collective 2.40 goals-against average in 2015-16, fourth best in the NHL behind the Anaheim Ducks (2.29), Washington Capitals (2.33) and Los Angeles Kings (2.34).
Elliott could be an unrestricted free agent and Allen a restricted free agent July 1, 2017.
"I can see us coming back with both goaltenders," Armstrong said. "I thought when I looked at it at the end of the season, we were very fortunate to have two goaltenders that were there to grab the ball when it hit the floor. We had those significant injuries to both guys, and both guys took the challenge and then ran with it and then didn't let the other guy back in the net until an injury."
Video: SJS@STL, Gm2: Elliott denies two-on-one rush
Elliott (23-8-6, 2.07 GAA, .930 save percentage) and Allen (26-15-3, 2.35 GAA, .920 save percentage) were sidelined by injury for a combined 30 games in the second half of the season, but St. Louis (49-24-9) finished second in the Central Division and third in the League. Elliott started all but two games of the Blues' run to the Western Conference Final of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, when they were eliminated in six games by the San Jose Sharks.
"I like our goaltending," Armstrong said. "I think Jake is still pushing towards being an upper-echelon goalie. He lost the net this year, Brian took it, Brian didn't give it up. Kudos to Brian for that. I know what's happening now Jake is preparing to wrestle it back in September, and we're going to see how it goes down. But I would have zero issue if both of these guys came back and were asked to compete and fight."
Allen, 25, has embraced the two-goalie system in St. Louis.
"You [want to play every game], but you need a break," Allen said. "There's only a couple guys in the League that can still play 70 games and teams are very fortunate to have them, but I think teams in the West, with the travel, the grind of the schedule, two goalies is crucial. I think we're pretty fortunate."
Elliott, 31, isn't content with sitting.
"You want to play, that's what it all comes down to," he said. "That's the predicament of pretty much every NHL team. So I don't know what will happen."