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Joel Edmundson calls the Blues a “top five team.” Is he right?

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The Blues improved this off-season, but is the defenseman’s assessment correct?

St Louis Blues v Calgary Flames Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images

After the Blues signed defenseman Joel Edmundson for another season, it’s understandable that the 25 year old former-RFA would be excited to stay in St. Louis. I will never knock job security or a substantial raise.

It turns out that Edmundson is really really excited to remain here, though. Potentially delusionary*, in fact. Speaking to Lou Korac, Edmundson had this to say about the Blues’ off-season upgrades.

“We think we’re top five in the NHL right now,” the Blues defenseman said Friday after he avoided arbitration and signed a one-year, $3 million contract July 24. “We want to come into camp and from camp on we want to be one of the top teams in the League. We were middle of the pack last season, but with the team we have and the confidence we have, we’re excited to come to camp with a new team, new look. It’s going to be a good year. We’re excited and we’re looking forward to it.”

...

“I was at [New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk] wedding and there were a bunch of the boys there and you could tell everyone’s excited to get it going,” Edmundson said. “Those four guys we got, they go to the net pretty hard. From a defensive point of view, we have to get shots on net because we have big bodies that can take care of [the puck]. That’s what we’ve been missing the past couple years and it’s nice to get these guys.

”They’re all great guys in the dressing room. I knew O’Reilly from World Championships, Patty Maroon has been around St. Louis, everyone knows him, we know Perron already. I haven’t really met Bozak yet, but I’ve heard he’s a great guy. It’s going to help us on the ice and in the dressing room.”

Edmundson raises a good point with the familiarity of David Perron - you know what kind of player you’re getting there. Last season with the Vegas Golden Knights may’ve increased the expectations people have for Perron - I would be shocked if he put up those career numbers again. But again, you know what you’re getting.

None of the players are bad. In fact, many pundits are pointing out that the Blues’ overhaul substantially improved the team, and I agree. You can’t go from Patrik Berglund and Vladimir Sobotka to Ryan O’Reilly and say “yeah, that was a lateral move.” The Blues substantially improved on the front end.

The defense, while good, remains unchanged - which would normally be fine if there wasn’t a question mark hanging around the neck of the aging Jay Bouwmeester. The goaltending took an expected hit - everyone figured that Carter Hutton was gone. But unless Jake Allen manages to shed his mid-season issues, Edmundson’s statement may need to be amended to be a little more focused on the forward core and a little less focused on the team as a whole.

*It’s a word now - ed.