DETROIT, MI - MARCH 30: Ryan Reaves #75 of the St. Louis Blues chases after the puck in front of Jonathan Ericsson #52 of the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on March 30, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. St. Louis won the game 10-3. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Blues 2011 Free Agency Watch: Signings, Trades, And Big Moves

The Blues need some pieces to fill out the roster and get to the salary cap floor. Big named signings shouldn't be expected, but surprises aren't out of the question.

  • Live
21 Total Updates since June 27, 2011
  • Important 4
  • Updates 21
  • All Updates 21

The Blues Finally Make A Splash; Sign UFAs Jamie Langenbrunner And Jason Arnott

Just when you thought that the Blues were done, or at the very least were going to just keep signing guys for the Peoria Rivermen, General Manager Doug Armstrong goes and schedules a personal reunion of sorts. He's familiar with both Jamie Langenbrunner and Jason Arnott from his time with the Dallas Stars franchise, and obviously he saw something he was impressed with there. Both of these players were signed today by Armstrong.

Langenbrunner at 35 and Arnott at 36 are both going to be utilized as a balancing act for the young forward core. Both still have gas left in the tank. Arnott provides some depth up the middle at center, while Langenbrunner adds some right wing experience. This move now puts the Blues at 13 one-way forwards for next season, limiting the chances of a player like Philip McRae or Brett Sterling coming up unless an injury happens.

Arnott split his time between the New Jersey Devils and the Washington Capitals last season, after four seasons with the Nashville Predators. He scored 17G and 14A last season in 73 games. Those 73 games are the most he's played since 2007-2008's 79. He'll be three seasons removed from his 28G 44A campaign in 2007-2008, but he's always shown that with competent players on his line he'll be good for at least 30 points. If he makes it through the year sans injury, he might be good for a few more.

Langenbrunner was a contentious presence in the New Jersey Devils' locker room last season during their time of troubles, which necessitated a trade to the Dallas Stars so he would cease contributing to an already toxic environment. Hopefully he'll be able to put on his big girl panties and play nice in St. Louis. He played 73 games last season, in which he scored 9 goals and 23 assists, but when happy (in 2009-2010) he was good for 19G and 23A.

Terms have not been released yet, but both contracts are one year deals.

EDIT: According to Lou Korac, both players are signed to a $2.8 million deal, and Arnott has a no trade clause in his deal.

For more Blues coverage, please visit SB Nation's St. Louis Blues site, St. Louis Game Time. For more hockey coverage, please visit SB Nation's hockey hub.

Continue

Blues Re-Sign Matt D'Agostini To A Two Year Contract

In what is probably the biggest deal that the Blues will make all day, the team calmed down a significant portion of their fanbase by re-signing forward Matt D'Agostini. They were unable to reach a deal with him before he became a UFA, which led to questions regarding how much money the Blues are actually willing to pay for a deal.

The contract is a two-year deal for the 25 year old worth $1.5 million for this season and $1.8 million next season. He had an explosive year last season, going from 2 goals and 2 assists and a −12 in 47 games in 2009-2010 to 21 goals and 25 assists in 82 games last year, complete with a +8 rating. He figures to be a top six player for the Blues, and TSN had him ranked as their 10th overall UFA forward going into the trade deadline day.

For more Blues coverage, please visit SB Nation's St. Louis Blues site, St. Louis Game Time. For more hockey coverage, please visit SB Nation's hockey hub.

Continue

Free Agency Preview: Forwards To Fill Open Positions For The Blues

It's not a secret that the Blues need some help at forward. With David Perron's availability for the beginning of this season questionable, and the re-signing of Matt D'Agostini before the deadline unlikely, the Blues need a top six forward. They also need a bruiser, and a couple of bottom six guys for depth and to provide a solid, blue-collar checking line that's become this team's trademark.

When looking at the Blues' roster, it becomes apparent that they need a bit of help:

Bluesforwards_medium

Janssen's probably gone. Ryan Reaves hasn't been signed to a contract yet, and could face arbitration. D'Agostini hasn't even been given a qualifying offer. Philip McRae looked good, but he's still a kid, and needs to stay in Peoria barring injury. Chris Porter also needs to stay in Peoria, though if you want to plunk him on a 4th line that's serviceable as well. 

Everyone else on that list aside from Reaves, Porter, McRae, and Janssen are capable of top nine time. That means that there are nine (ten if you count D'Agostini) guys for the top nine. We're going to be hopeful and pretend that Perron will be playing next year. We'll also assume that Crombeen will be going fourth line.

If Porter stays up, and Reaves is signed, there's your fourth line. All things considered, then, the Blues need a third liner and a top six forward. Two if Perron's still out, and maybe another one if D'Agostini doesn't get re-signed. Frankly, if you want to put Crombeen on the 3rd line, where he plays just fine, the Blues could make room for a 4th liner as well.

If the Blues want a bruiser with some hockey sense, they could go for Eric Boulton. Boulton, who has spent the past six seasons with Atlanta, is not expected to follow the Thrashers to Winnipeg. He usually has a +/- within just a few points of even either way on a team that allowed a LOT of goals.  He averages between seven and a half to ten minutes a night (which would be double Cam Janssen), and also recently won the Puck Daddy fight of the year for this brawl?


Oddly enough, Janssen won the year prior.

If you want veteran leadership, there's always Jason Arnott. Unfortunately, there's also his salary, which last year was around $4.5 million. Eric Cole, formerly of the Carolina Hurricanes, could also work on a second line in a pinch, with his 26 goals and 26 assists. That could replace D'Agostini's loss if he doesn't re-sign. If D'Agostini does re-sign, then Cole would be a nice compliment.

Eric Belanger's a reasonable cap hit ($1.7 million last season) for a more than competent player who had 13 goals and 27 assists for career highs last season with the Phoenix Coyotes. The Blues need penalty kill help, and Belanger could do the trick there. Also helpful, though a long-shot, is face-off quarterback Marty Reasoner. Drafted by the Blues 14th overall in 1996, Reasoner had 14 goals and 18 assists, along with a 54.5% even strength face-off percentage. There's a reason that the Panthers had the sixth overall penalty kill in the league, and Reasoner had a good bit to do with it.

Top six wise, the most reasonable option for the Blues might be Scottie Upshall. He made $1.5 million last year with the Blue Jackets. He managed 22 goals and 12 assists between Phoenix and Columbus last season, and would be moderately good insurance in case David Perron does not start the season with the team.

As usual, Blues fans, temper your expectations. The team doesn't have the money to throw huge contracts around, and while they're $20 million under the cap limit, there's no way that they ever spend that much.

For more Blues coverage, please visit SB Nation's St. Louis Blues site, St. Louis Game Time. For more hockey coverage, please visit SB Nation's hockey hub.

Continue

Blues Re-Sign TJ Oshie For One Year, $2.35 Million

It's not a long contract by any means, but the Blues locked up forward T.J. Oshie for one more season the day before the free agent frenzy was about to begin. There was some concern over offer sheets and the like, but the Blues put those to rest with their contract worth $2.35 million dollars for one season.

Why so short? Oshie needs to prove himself. When he's on the ice, he's a pinball with skates, capable of amazing moves - he never stops. The problem is that he's never been on the ice for a full 82 games - or anything close to that. Injuries have cut short his previous seasons, so while Blues fans have seen flashes of ability, they haven't been exposed to it consistently. If the fans haven't, the team brass haven't either.

Don't worry. Oshie won't walk at the end of this season. He'll stil be an RFA, so the Blues will be able to re-negotiate his contract. If he stays healthy all year, produces like everyone believes that he can, and doesn't go AWOL from practice, next time this year Oshie could be getting a serious payday. If he likes it here as much as he sayshe's got motivation from all areas to have a career season.

 

For more Blues coverage, please visit SB Nation's St. Louis Blues site, St. Louis Game Time. For more hockey coverage, please visit SB Nation's hockey hub.

Continue
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation St. Louis

You must be a member of SB Nation St. Louis to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation St. Louis. You should read them.

Join SB Nation St. Louis

You must be a member of SB Nation St. Louis to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation St. Louis. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.