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Strickland: Off-season Moves Set To Begin

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05-16-2009, 08:43 AM
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Strickland: Off-season Moves Set To Begin


Just snippets of highlights:

The Blues are certainly in this mode as sources confirm GM Larry Pleau has contacted multiple Restricted Free Agent’s he and the rest of the Blues organization are looking to lock up to multi year contracts.

One of these players is Jay McClement who will be looking for a three year deal in the neighborhood of $1.1- $1.4 million per season.

Roman Polak is another player the Blues are looking to lock up to a multi-year deal.

Look for the Blues to submit a qualifying offer to forward BJ Crombeen as well.
The Blues have had countless meetings over the last several weeks and have narrowed down their search for a goaltender to backup goaltender Chris Mason.

For those who are hoping Ben Bishop will compete for the backup job I wouldn’t suggest holding your breath very long. Bishop needs to play and not very often in the NHL do teams go to camp without two goaltenders already solidified.

Obviously the Blues will needs to wait until July first to talk to unrestricted free agents but you can expect the Blues to show significant interest in several goaltenders including New Jersey’s Scott Clemmensen as well as Detroit’s Ty Conklin.

The Blues need a goalie that is capable of playing at least once a week, so you can figure in the range of 25 games or so. When you’re looking at potential candidates to backup Chris Mason I would highly recommend focusing on guys with above .500 records over the last few seasons.

Several teams will be interested in Swedish goaltender Jonas Gustavsson including Toronto and Vancouver. Expect the Blues to offer the World Championships standout a one-year entry level deal.

One player Blues fans can officially cross off the list is former Blue Hannu Toivonen who will stay in Finland where he recently signed a two year extension. The Blues continue to hold his rights but have little interest in bringing him back at this time.
Sources say the balloting for the Jack Adams trophy is neck and neck between Bruins Head Coach Claude Julian and Blues bench boss Andy Murray.
Jarmo Kekalainen has been hired by Finnish Television to be their main studio analyst during the upcoming 2010 Olympics. I guess Jarmo can always pick up the phone and call John Davidson if he needs any pointers.

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