The St. Louis Blues made some noise on the first day of free agency, signing Tyler Bozak, David Perron and Chad Johnson. While none of the moves were particularly bad (thoughts on Bozak here, Perron here and Johnson here), none of them were what the Blues really needed to ascend to the next level.
Blues GM Doug Armstrong spoke about the deals as well as the team’s plan moving forward, stating that they’re probably done when it comes to free agency but they may still make a trade.
The door is still open for the Blues to make a move, particularly in the trade market. That being said, they’re not prepared to pay the price the Buffalo Sabres are asking for Ryan O’Reilly.
That leaves the Blues in a tough spot. They need more help on offense, but they can’t sabotage the future by meeting Buffalo’s demands. The price was believed to include Robert Thomas, a first-round pick and more, which is an awfully tough price to stomach.
Overall, the Blues aren’t significantly improved following their series of signings. They’re not significantly worse either, but they definitely didn’t take a big step forward. It’ll take a package that includes prospects and future assets to upgrade the current roster in a meaningful way.
It’s too early to grade the Blues’ overall efforts this summer as more moves may be on the way, but it sounds like the free agency portion of the team’s plans may be complete.