The St. Louis Blues didn't like missing the playoffs last season by a single point, so they went and did something about it.
Ryan O'Reilly now a Blue
After much discussion over where ROR was going to call home next season, the Blues won the sweepstakes grabbing the coveted forward in trade with the Buffalo Sabres.
Not only did they show they wanted Ryan O'Reilly, they showed it in an overwhelming display of players, money and draft picks.
They sent players Vladimir Sobotka, Tage Thompson, and Patrik Berglund to the Sabres. They also broke into their piggybank of draft selections and sent the Sabres their 2019 first-rounder (top-ten pick), and their 2020 second-rounder.
In addition (you think they wanted him...) they paid ROR's $7.5 million bonus which was due on July 1st.
If they aren't banking (literally) on ROR being their star player next season, then they are in for a rude awakening if it doesn't happen. It would have been considered more cost efficient had they put the deal together before the July 1st deadline for the bonus, but multi-player deals are not easily sculpted at a moment's notice.
O'Reilly added to such talented forwards as Alex Steen (15-G, 31-A), Brayden Schenn (28-G, 42-A), Jaden Schwartz (24-G, 35-A), and Vladimir Tarasenko (33-G, 33-A) can make the Blues have their opponents 'singing the blues'. Add in blueliner Alex Pietrangelo who had 15-G, 39-A last season, and the firepower of the St. Louis club just accelerated to a blinding level.
But, there's more.
Tyler Bozak added to talented roster
Tyler Bozak signed a three-year $15 million contract after performing his center-ice talents for the Toronto Maple Leafs for nine seasons. In 594 NHL games there he accumulated 365 points.
Adding him to the other two centers on the team in O'Reilly, and Schenn will surely give the Blues' fans plenty to stand up and cheer about come October.
David Perron comes home
Beginning his third stint in the mid-west city, David Perron said, “I love St. Louis. This is the biggest reason why I came back. I didn’t even want to think about anywhere else.”
Perron will certainly help the previously meager offense for the Blues, ranked 24th in the NHL. He tallied 66 points in 70 games last season and has that valuable Stanley Cup Finals experience which will only inspire and lead his new (well... sorta) team to new heights.
Perron was a very prolific contributor to the Vegas Golden Knights in the playoffs last season gathering nine points in 15 games. He will be a welcomed addition on the wing, and the Blues went after him edging out other teams like the Arizona Coyotes who were interested in signing him.
Veteran Patrick Maroon also is onboard
Patrick Maroon was also a highly sought after forward in the free agent market and again St. Louis was able to get the job done. Maroon signed a one-year $1.75 million contract.
He too like Perron is experiencing a homecoming. He was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He went to Oakville High School and played hockey for the St. Louis Bandits.
He has 178 points in 375 NHL games and is crafty veteran who can only add more depth to the Blues' lineup.
The team also added tough guy Jordan Nolan from the Sabres. He signed a one-year $650,000 contract and looks to add some toughness to the Blues' roster. His hockey skills are limited, but he does what he does and every team needs a 'tough guy.'
Since the Blues lost Carter Hutton to the Sabres (these two teams almost exchanged rosters...) they needed a backup, and they went to their favorite player shopping site and grabbed Chad Johnson from the ... Sabres. He signed a one-year $1.75 million contract.
When these two teams meet next season, they should know the opposition well.
Do you think the St. Louis Blues will be a more formidable playoff contending team with their new roster? Let us know in the comments section below.