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It was a little disappointing to see the St. Louis Blues send Keith Aucoin down to the AHL. Aucoin has been averaging well over a point a game in the AHL since 2005-06, yet still struggles to get a consistent shot at the National Hockey League level. It's understandable that he had a tough time cracking the Blues' roster, as St. Louis is stocked at the forward position. Chances are Aucoin will get a callup at some point this season due to injuries, so keep tabs on him because he has the offensive ability to make an impact, even if it's only for the short-term.
Staying with the Blues for a moment, their goaltending situation will be one with major fantasy implications this year. We have been used to Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott rotating over the last two seasons, which makes it difficult to rely on them as a full-time fantasy netminder. Will that trend continue in 2013-14? Halak has spent the summer in St. Louis, as opposed to going home to Slovakia like he normally does, focusing a lot of time on strength and conditioning, as well as improving his diet. It remains to be seen if those efforts will have an impact on his playing time or if he can show some consistency and start 60-plus times.
Jake Allen, who was sent down to the AHL last week, is also a factor in the Blues' goaltending conundrum. St. Louis could potentially trade either Halak or Elliott during the campaign if they have the confidence that Allen will be there goaltender of the future.
The Calgary Flames goaltending outlook is another one that's currently unsettled heading into the season. Bob Hartley has yet to declare a number one starter and Joey MacDonald, Karri Ramo, and even Reto Berra are in the mix. Ramo might have the best shot at claiming it since he has had rock solid numbers in the KHL over the last four campaigns, but career backup/AHLer Joey MacDonald did an admirable job filling for Calgary in 2013. Whoever gets it is likely in for a rough year with the roster the Flames figure to put out there, so draft responsibly when it comes to Flames' goalies.
Cody Franson finally signing with the Maple Leafs means Toronto is going to have to make some decisions quickly where their blue line is concerned. Franson, Dion Phaneuf, Carl Gunnarsson, and Jake Gardiner are locks for the top four, and Mark Fraser as well as Paul Ranger are likely to be kept around to fill bottom pairing roles and for