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Team Reset

Blues aim for repeat as Stanley Cup champions with nearly identical cast

Look to pick up where they left off following quiet offseason

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

After the NHL Draft, free agency and other offseason moves, NHL.com is taking a look at where each team stands. Today, the St. Louis Blues:

The St. Louis Blues hope to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions by keeping an almost identical roster intact this season.

St. Louis was not active pursuing free agents but did sign coach Craig Berube to a three-year contract June 25 and retained several of its restricted free agents.

 

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"We don't ever want to lose the memories of what we've done," general manager Doug Armstrong said in June. "... But we also, we can't live in that era anymore, we have to move forward."

Forwards Sammy Blais (July 1) and Robby Fabbri (July 12) each signed a one-year contract; forward Oskar Sundqvist (July 21) signed a four-year contract; and goalie Jordan Binnington signed a two-year contract (July 13). Defenseman Carl Gunnarsson, who could have been an unrestricted free agent July 1, signed a two-year contract June 27.

Defenseman Andreas Borgman, who has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 48 NHL games, likely will play with San Antonio of the American Hockey League after he was acquired in a trade from the Toronto Maple Leafs for defenseman Jordan Schmaltz on July 25.

Video: Blues hire Marc Savard as an assistant coach

The only player the Blues lost as a free agent was defenseman Michael Del Zotto, but forward Pat Maroon, who remains an unrestricted free agent, likely won't return.

"I'm ready to compete and play for any team that wants me," Maroon said July 20. "I'm a guy you can probably use in the locker room, a good veteran guy. I don't really pump my tires up too much, but I feel like I've done a good job of bringing guys together and being a locker room guy. I think anyone can use me right now."

Here is what the Blues look like today:

 

Key arrivals

None

 

Key departures

Michael Del Zotto, D: The 29-year-old signed a one-year contract with the Anaheim Ducks on July 16. Del Zotto did not play in the Stanley Cup Playoffs but had three assists in seven games with the Blues last season and 10 points (one goal, nine assists) in 42 games with the Blues, Ducks and Vancouver Canucks. ... Pat Maroon, F: The 31-year-old had 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists) in 74 games last season.

 

On the cusp

Klim Kostin, F: Selected with the No. 31 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, the 20-year-old had 24 points (10 goals, 14 assists) in 66 games with San Antonio. ... Jordan Kyrou, F: The 21-year-old had three points (one goal, two assists) in 16 games with the Blues last season and 43 points (16 goals, 27 assists) in 47 games with San Antonio. Selected in the second round (No. 35) of the 2016 NHL Draft, he could be the 13th forward on the NHL roster. ... Ville Husso, G: The 24-year-old was St. Louis' third-string goalie for the second half of the season but has not made his NHL debut. Selected in the fourth round (No. 94) of the 2014 NHL Draft, he was 6-18-0 with a 3.67 goals-against average, an .871 save percentage and one shutout in 27 games with San Antonio. He could see NHL action if either Binnington or Jake Allen is injured.

Video: Blues draft F Klim Kostin No. 31

 

What they still need

To sign restricted free agents Joel Edmundson and Ivan Barbashev. Edmundson, a 26-year-old defenseman, had 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in 64 regular-season games and seven points (one goal, six assists) in 22 playoff games last season. He has a salary arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 4. Barbashev, a 23-year-old forward, had 26 points (14 goals, 12 assists) in 80 regular-season games and six points (three goals, three assists) in 25 playoff games.

 

Fantasy focus

Binnington will look to carry over his first-year success (24-5-1, 1.89 goals-against average, .927 save percentage, five shutouts). Despite a small sample size, he should be targeted among the top nine fantasy goalies after going 16-10 (most wins by a rookie in NHL history) with a .914 save percentage in the playoffs. With a solid group of defensemen intact, Binnington should finish with at least 30 wins but could see a dip in peripherals (save percentage, goals-against average). -- Rob Reese

 

Projected lineup

Jaden Schwartz -- Brayden Schenn -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Zach Sanford -- Ryan O'Reilly -- David Perron

Sammy Blais -- Tyler Bozak -- Robert Thomas

Ivan Barbashev -- Oskar Sundqvist -- Alexander Steen

Carl Gunnarsson -- Alex Pietrangelo

Jay Bouwmeester -- Colton Parayko

Vince Dunn -- Joel Edmundson

Jordan Binnington

Jake Allen

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