There are many things to like about the St. Louis Blues and many things that could easily change between now and the beginning of next season.
They have two rising stars in their defense with Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk. They may also have a goalie situation developing with a competition likely coming between Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott. I have said in the past that the team should trade Halak away to avoid a serious issue when next season begins. I still feel that way and I don’t want to be in the shoes of general manager Doug Armstrong right now.
Halak and coach Ken Hitchcock got into it during the playoffs. While I have no problem with a player speaking their mind about what is going wrong, there are many others who feel he was being disrespectful. There is no way that the Blues can go into next season with that distraction around them. There is also the issue with Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk being restricted free agents.
There are a lot of decisions that Armstrong must make. The Blues can’t really afford to let either of the defensemen go in free agency because that could leave a serious hole. The goalie problem could turn into the bigger one, as Halak is likely going to be very vocal if he isn’t the starting goalie next year.
However, Elliott is the incumbent and should have the job since he finished the year with it. It’s going to take a lot for St. Louis to go to Halak now. I want to think that the Blues will be very similar next season to what they were to end this year. I’m not positive that can happen with all of the issues.