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2005-06 Finish: 21-46-15, 15th West
General Manager: Larry Pleau (9th Season)
Head Coach: Mike Kitchen (3rd Season)
2005-06 Goals For: 197
2005-06 Goals Against: 292
2005-06 Power Play: 14.6% (27th)
2005-06 Penalty Killing: 82.2% (15th)
Points Leader: Scott Young (49)
Goals Leader: Scott Young (18)
Assists Leader: Scott Young, Petr Cajanek (31)

Offseason Moves: Signed defenceman Jay McKee, who had been with the Buffalo Sabres, to a multi-year contract; signed centre Doug Weight, who had been with the Carolina Hurricanes, to a multi-year contract; signed right wing Dan Hinote, who had been with the Colorado Avalanche, to a multi-year contract; signed right wing Bill Guerin, who had been with the Dallas Stars, to a one-year contract; signed right wing Martin Rucinsky, who had been with the New York Rangers, to a one-year contract; signed goaltender Manny Legace, who had been with the Detroit Red Wings, to a multi-year contract; signed defenceman Jamie Rivers, who had been with the Phoenix Coyotes; signed forward Radek Dvorak, who had been with the Edmonton Oilers.

Goaltending: The Patrick Lalime experiment failed miserably in St. Louis, and the Blues have once again dipped into the free agent market for a new No. 1 by signing Manny Legace. He had a career year in 2005-06, going 37-8 with a 2.19 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage. He struggled in last year's playoffs, but at this stage the Blues are counting on him to simply help them to the postseason. Curtis Sanford put up decent numbers last year with a 13-13-5 record, a 2.66 GAA and a .908 save percentage. He's penciled in as the backup for opening night. The Blues have two other netminders-in-waiting with Jason Bacashihua and 2004 draft pick Marek Schwarz.

Defence: The Blues' defence corps scored a huge gain with the acquisition of Jay McKee. The former Buffalo Sabre isn't a big point man, but can swing the momentum of a game with his big hits, sound defensive play and shot-blocking abilities. The same can be said for Barret Jackman, one of the lone bright spots for the league's worst team last year. At 25, he plays a mature game in his own end and is not afraid of physical play. The Blues have a good point man in Eric Brewer (who played just 32 games last season), but will need more help in terms of generating offence. Dennis Wideman was the team's top blueline scorer with just 24 points and will need more support if the team wants to improve on its 197 goals from last season.

Forwards: GM Larry Pleau's first order of business was improving the team's offensive output and the Blues have placed their bets on some veteran help. The team hopes Bill Guerin can rebound from a bad 2005-06 campaign, and also expect a full, healthy season from winger Keith Tkachuk. Martin Rucinsky was a good signing after he scored 55 points in 52 games last year for the Rangers, and Pleau also brought back centre Doug Weight to be their top playmaking centre. With an experienced cast, centre Petr Cajanek should improve on last year's 41 points, while youngsters Lee Stempniak and Jay McClement should also boost their totals. Dan Hinote is very tenacious on the forecheck, while Radek Dvorak brings ample speed and penalty-killing skills. They should also keep the Blues stable in their own end.

Welcome to the NHL: No. 1 overall pick Erik Johnson is at least a year away from playing his first NHL game, but the Blues have also been playing the patience game with another blueliner - Jeff Woywitka. As a bright young prospect, Woywitka has been all over the place while playing just 26 NHL games. And with three seasons of AHL experience, now is a good time to earn full-time duty. The former Philadelphia Flyers draft pick can play a solid all-around game with plenty of offensive potential.
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