Now that we have discussed the St. Louis Blues’ signing Torey Krug, let’s talk about the other new additions to the 2020-21 St. Louis Blues. As of right now, it only looks like one of them is going to make the team right off the bat. The rest will likely start the season in the AHL and could be called up when there are injuries. After signing Krug, the Blues didn’t have a lot of money to spend so they couldn’t afford to go out and get any superstars. That being said, are any of the new additions to the team worth getting excited about or are they all just depth signings that won’t get much NHL time?
2020-21 St. Louis Blues Additions
On October 11th, the Blues signed former Toronto Maple Leafs forward Kyle Clifford to a two-year deal. This is the only player in this article that was not signed to a two-way contract. The way things stand right now, it seems like Clifford is going to be a part of the 2020-21 St. Louis Blues. He has the potential to provide the things the Blues’ fourth line has been missing since Pat Maroon left. He’s not going to put up a lot of points, but he is going to be the heavy-hitting physical presence the Blues have been missing. That is something to be excited about. He won two Stanley Cups with the Los Angeles Kings before he was traded to Toronto. In 676 NHL games, he has 61 goals and 71 assists for 132 points and has racked up 1492 hits and 842 penalty minutes.
On October 10th, the Blues signed former Dallas Stars forward Curtis McKenzie to a one-year, two-way deal. McKenzie was drafted in the sixth round, 159thoverall, of the 2009 draft by the Stars. The 29-year-old has played in 99 NHL games and has 10 goals and 13 assists for 23 points. Like most of the other signings talked about here, this seems like a depth signing. McKenzie can provide some experience when injuries occur if the Blues are concerned about playing a prospect who has next to no NHL experience.
On October 9th, the Blues signed defenceman Steven Santini to a one-year, two-way deal. Santini was drafted in the second round, 42ndoverall, in the 2013 draft by the New Jersey Devils. He played parts of four seasons there before he was traded to the Nashville Predators as a part of the trade that brought P.K. Subban to the Devils.
In 116 career NHL games, he has 5 goals and 16 assists for 21 points. The 25-year-old has career Corsi numbers of 42.0 percent and a relative Corsi of -6.6. It might be useful for the Blues to have a defenceman with more NHL experience than some of their prospects if someone gets injured. At this point though, it doesn’t seem likely that he will be a regular part of the lineup.
On October 9th, the Blues also signed former Calgary Flames goaltender Jon Gillies to a one-year, two-way deal. This signing kind of makes sense. The Blues just traded backup goaltender Jake Allen to the Montreal Canadiens in September. Ville Husso is expected to backup Jordan Binnington this upcoming season. However, Husso does not have any NHL experience yet so there is no telling how he is going to play. The Blues obviously needed another option and Gillies provides that.
Gillies was drafted in the third round, 75thoverall in the 2012 draft by Calgary. He has only played in 12 NHL games. While that is more than Husso, his statistics aren’t exactly impressive. In 12 games in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 season, he had a .903 save percentage, a 2.71 goals-against average and a record of 4-5-1. If nothing else, the Blues still needed someone to replace Husso in the AHL if Husso does become the backup. The Blues would be better off if they were able to afford a backup goaltender with more experience in case Binnington falters this season. But in a tight-cap situation, this seemed like the best the Blues could do.