Not bad - at least the Blues haven't paid too much for these guys. And it gives us trade options of course. I DID think that Winchester might try the free agency route, but I guess a one year contract gives both the Blues and Winchester opportunities. As for Weaver, I'm glad they've re-signed him - the guy is always useful in a crisis.
EDIT - Andy is also reporting that the Blues have bought out the contract of Jay McKee.
JAY MCKEE BUYOUT FROM CAPGEEK.COM
EDIT - Jeremy Rutherford confirms the McKee buyout.
EDIT FROM BRAD: Hat tip to drfrankenweed for getting this up so quickly. We really like the people who come hang out here. My quick reaction:
- When Brad Winchester plays pissed off, he's dangerous in front of the net. But he has to be aggressive and play with an attitude. His goal should be to frustrate the opposing goaltender and the defender tasked with pushing his large frame out of the crease. When he's not doing that, he's a big, slow forward with limited potential. Give him about four days of game tape this summer on Tomas Holmstrom and see what happens in the fall.
- Mike Weaver is a cheap, low-risk insurance policy in case of injury. When he played this season, he rarely faced the top forwards on the other team. But Weaver rarely if ever took chances or made huge glaring mistakes. I started the season thinking he was a waste of space and finished it thinking I wouldn't mind seeing him on the squad next year as long as he's not taking playing time from developing players. Interesting side note, he has one of the longest sticks in proportion to height as any player in the league.
- Jay McKee was the wrong guy at the wrong time for this franchise. Coming off the first season of the Post-Pronger Era, it was clear the Blues had no one to play a physical, patrol the top of the crease defenseman. McKee led the Sabres to the Eastern Conference Finals and played a strong leadership role. But he was a shot-blocking magnet bound to face some injury problems even if he never had that problem previously. Apparently he stopped drinking milk or all those blocks caught up to him at once and he missed a ton of time with injuries. When healthy, he was a solid defender in his own end, but sometimes played too aggressively on the penalty kill. At least three times just last season he tried blocking crossing passes and deflected the puck in his own net. On the break, he treated the puck like a hand grenade...right after he pulled the pin. Sad to say that the Blues valued his $1.3 million cap hit this year and next compared to his contribution this season in the final year of his deal.