After the season ended, general manager Doug Armstrong flat-out stated that Jake Allen would play with the Blues next season. Allen was excellent with the Chicago Wolves, ranking first in victories, goals-against average (2.03) and save percentage (.928). Thanks to those impressive stats, he was voted as the AHL's goaltender of the year - the kid is ready for the NHL full time.
Ryan Miller re-signing with the Blues was never certain, and after his performance in the playoffs, he may have bought his own ticket out of town. With Allen coming up, the Blues needed a veteran backup/1B goaltender to mentor the young goalie, and Miller was never going to do that. He's a star, not a mentor.
Who is a mentor? The Blues' most reliable goaltender over the past several seasons: Brian Elliott. Doug Armstrong saw this, and today the club re-signed Elliott to a three- year contract extension worth $7.5 million. From the Blues' official press release:
ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced Monday the club has re-signed goaltender Brian Elliott to a three-year contract.
Elliott, 29, appeared in 31 regular season games last season, posting an 18-6-2 record while ranking 11th in both save percentage (.922) and shutouts (4), and second with a 1.96 goals-against average.
The 6-foot-2, 209-pound goaltender has spent his past three campaigns with the Blues, including 2011-12, when he set single-season franchise records in save percentage (.940), goals-against average (1.56) and shutouts (9) en route to earning the 2012 Jennings Trophy.
Over the past three seasons, Elliott ranks second overall (at least 50 games played) with a .680 win percentage (55-24-7), while his 16 shutouts not only lead the League, but are tied for second in Blues franchise history.
Obviously, the Blues trust Elliott, and didn't want to pay Miller the huge salary that he was probably demanding. Answering to the fanbase after throwing a bunch of money at someone who was decidedly sub-par for his reputation would be icing on the cake for a disappointing playoff exit.
Elliott has shown he's OK with being a 1B, and he's shone behind Ken Hitchcock's defensive system. With a goaltending coach turnover, the Blues need a constant to get Allen acclimated. Elliott is the basket in which they're putting all of their eggs.