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Will He Stay Or Will He Go?
Without question, the biggest uncertainty surrounding the Blues this summer is in goal. The Blues paid a high price for Ryan Miller, and there's still a number of ways that the situation could be resolved. General manager Doug Armstrong wanted this guy for the playoff run, and St. Louis sank while the former Buffalo Sabre failed to make key saves in big moments.
At this juncture, are the Blues even interested in bringing the netminder back to town? With Jake Allen's contract morphing into a one-way deal this season, according to CapGeek.com, could the reigning AHL goalie of the year get the chance to be a No. 1 guy in the NHL?
Armstrong has some interesting choices to make. If he re-signs or trades Miller's rights before the draft, the Blues will lose their first-round pick this season. After making only four selections in the 2013 draft, St. Louis' prospect stable is starting to thin out quickly. Will the team's brass be willing to roll the dice on Miller after he posted a sub-.900 save percentage during the postseason?
Ken Hitchcock's Future
Ken Hitchcock has been one of the NHL's top coaches for a long while. In 1998-99 he guided the Dallas Stars to the only Stanley Cup championship in team history, and the veteran has been a mainstay since 1995.
His track record must come into question at this juncture though. According to HockeyDB.com, Hitchcock has made it out of the first round just once in his last nine years as a coach. His playoff acumen isn't where it should be, and as the Blues continue to struggle to make an impact in the postseason, one has to wonder if this is the right guy to get the team over the hump.
There have been no rumblings about Hitchcock's future in St. Louis yet. Those decisions will come later, but no one should be surprised if the Blues decide to move in another direction behind the bench before October rolls around.
Fishing for a Finisher
During the regular season the Blues were the seventh-best offensive team in hockey. They scored goals during five-on-five situations and kicked in some backup from the power play. All that went dry against Chicago, and it's impossible to ignore who scored the game-winners for the 'Hawks.
Jonathan Toews had three, and Patrick Kane had one.
That's the sort of output that St. Louis needs its top players to be able to match, and T.J. Oshie, Vladimir Tarasenko and David Backes weren't up to the task. Armstrong shouldn't be looking to mess with the nucleolus too much, but if he has a chance to land a top-six forward with some finish, he'll take a long look at the deal.