It’s been widely agreed that the Hawks signing of Brian Campbell, especially at that price, was one of the shrewder moves of this offseason. It’s even more so when you consider how many other teams have simply lost their minds and/or torpedoed their own team in the process. The Hawks still lack some bottom six forwards–though apparently that won’t be a problem when Richard Panik tears a whole in the space-time continuum which far too many people think will happen. But what has the direct competition been up to? Let’s check on in.
St. Louis: Last year’s conquerors haven’t exactly vaulted forward from what they thought was their breakthrough. They traded their goalie, finally giving Jay Gallon the job he’s never really grabbed with both hands. They watched Troy Brouwer and David Backes walk, neither a calamitous development. So far they’ve only brought back David Perron, because they simply had to replace all the stupid they lost when Backes beat it for the Hub. They seem intent on trading Kevin Shattenkirk for reasons they can only find in their head, hoping Colton Parayko can take second pairing minutes even though Jabe O’Meester is going to disintegrate sometime in January.