St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) is congratulated by teammates

(Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports)

Kerber: Blues Offseason Focus Has To Be Improving 'Compete Level'

The voice of the Blues believes St. Louis' primary core will still be here next season, but expects one or two moves to come. 

May 09, 2018 - 10:57 am
Categories: 

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The voice of the St. Louis Blues Chris Kerber believes this offseason is going to be one of the most critical for Doug Armstrong in his career as Blues GM and president of hockey operations. In the month since St. Louis' season ended with a loss in Colorado, Kerber has talked with players, coaches and front office leadership, and he says there is a "real focus" in this entire organization. 

He was with our Chris Hrabe on Sports Open Line, Wednesday and you can hear their entire conversation, here:

"I'm not going to go simple and tell everybody that it's a leadership issue. I don't know that, that's completely it. I think it's a young player issue. It's an approach issue. It's, are you willing to pay the price all the time? ... Nashville and Winnipeg this year paid the price and in the Central Division you have to pay the price. I don't know that we paid the price in enough times."

Long-term injuries exposed the depth of the 2017-18 Blues who had to rely on prospects and young players in high-leverage situations throughout the season.

Related story: Playing Hockey GM: How The Blues Could Acquire Islanders' John Tavares

Kerber mentioned the amount of times he saw the Blues lose after having two-goal leads last season and laid part of the blame on the shift in style of play the Blues made. 

"Trying to become more of a puck control team, rather than kind of a dump and fore checking team – and you had to do that because you just didn't have the size or in some cases the compete, or the experience – I think what that created is sometimes guys holding onto the puck a little bit long. And where you really started to see this team get into trouble was when they started to play the puck backwards, rather than get it in."

The radio play-by-play broadcaster believes the primary core of St. Louis' roster will still be here next season, but expects one or two moves to come.