Backes: Blues' roster 'needs ... some change or else you're buying into complete insanity'

Jasen Vinlove / USA TODAY Sports

If it's broken, then it needs to be fixed.

Despite winning the Central Division, the St. Louis Blues' season was a disappointment, thanks to a first-round playoff loss to the Minnesota Wild.

Another early postseason exit led to uncertainty about whether Ken Hitchcock would stay on as head coach, but that speculation was squashed when Blues general manager Doug Armstrong retained Hitchcock in May.

The Blues GM did, however, stress that changes will come to the team's lineup for next season.

"I know there's going to be four or five changes already just based on free agency and the age of players," Armstrong said last week, according to Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. "The team that wins the Stanley Cup is probably going to have four or five roster changes. It's just the nature of a salary-cap system. So we are going to have a different look."

Rutherford speculates on a number of names the Blues could part with in the near or immediate future:

Much of the fan focus has been centered on disassembling the Blues' core, a group that many identify as including David Backes, Alexander Steen, T.J. Oshie, Patrik Berglund and Barret Jackman.

Backes has one season left on his five-year contract, while Steen, Oshie and Berglund each have two years remaining on their deals. Jackman will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Backes, the team's captain and one of their top performers, believes Armstrong will make changes and the team should be prepared for them.

"I do expect change as far as we didn't get a job done and there needs to be some change or else you’re buying into complete insanity, which is doing the same thing and expecting different results," Backes said. "I do expect change to happen. On what scale and what realms, that is Army's baby and that’s what his position does.

"I do expect that the same 23-25 faces won't be back. In a typical year, that means it's four or five guys (leaving). If it's that number or maybe a couple more, that wouldn't be surprising to me. Who that would be is speculative at best in my book."

If changes are made, the Blues could rely on youngsters such as Jaden Schwartz, Jake Allen, and Vladimir Tarasenko to fill the void. Armstrong said re-signing Tarasenko is his top priority.

Backes: Blues' roster 'needs ... some change or else you're buying into complete insanity'
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