This group is the most obvious one, as Allen and Hutton are locked into their roles unless an injury occurs. The only real question is exactly how much playing time Allen will get; the Blues obviously have a certain level of faith in Hutton since they pursued him in free agency this offseason, but he’s played in a total of just 35 NHL games over the past two seasons, and he’s mostly built his reputation around being serviceable while getting extremely limited playing time behind ironman Pekka Rinne.
The thought is that Allen could ascend into that same type of role, playing 60-65 games in 2016-17. With that said, he’ll need to avoid the prolonged slumps that he’s endured over his first two full seasons if he wants to become that type of netminder. He showed that he could stick in net night-after-night over the first couple months of last season, but his effectiveness eventually decreased, and an injury in early January put an end to that type of usage. We’ll see if Allen can rebound and cement himself as one of the NHL’s most durable goaltenders this season.