By LOU KORAC
HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- Blues players were on hand Wednesday to clean out their lockers and belongings one final time after their season ended in the Western Conference First Round series against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Blues goalie Brian Elliott, who can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, answered questions on a variety of season-ending issues, including his future:
Yeah definitely. It's always a tough time when you're packing up your gear. It's mixed feelings and emotions to come out. You don't really expect them sometimes, but we'll figure stuff out. Whatever happens, happens. Hopefully, it'll be a new chapter in the career whether it be here or somewhere else. Hopefully I'll have a better ending to that chapter next year.
Do you want to test the waters; do you want to know what your worth is on open market?
Based on everything, I think you know what your worth is. It's not about that, it's about where you want to be. The opportunities that are available out there are available here. It's about an opportunity for me to play and what's best moving forward.
About teaming with Jake Allen, if that's an option?
From the first day I met Jake, he's a great guy. He's an up-and-comer. He's obviously had a great year in the (American Hockey League) this year and played well when he was up here. He's definitely earned an opportunity. Whoever is partnered up with him, I think it'll be good. It'll give him a chance to break into the league and hopefully have success. He comes from the East Coast; there are really nice people out there. I have nothing to say about him at all.
Do you view yourself as a No. 1, an every game starter?
I have to prove that obviously. It's about getting opportunities to be able to prove that. I think I've made a reputation throughout the league as a hard-working guy that can come in and win big games and do a lot for a team. It's about trying to make that next step and try to be a No. 1. Like I always say, if you don't prepare and go into a summer and an individual workout in that summer and say, 'This is to be a backup,' you're not doing yourself justice. You always want to try and push yourself and get to the next level. Whether it's attainable or not, you have to push it.
Based on numbers with Blues, hard to sit in the playoffs and watch?
It's hard to watch at any time. It's not fun. You want to be out there with the guys you've worked hard with, blood, sweat and tears and you can't be out there with them, so it is definitely hard. But I'm not naive and I understand why I was sitting. I'm not sitting here saying I don't understand it. It was a move that they made so they had to kind of go with it. I thought we definitely had a chance this year. We kind of came up short.
Ever wonder what might have been if it was you and Jaroslav Halak?
Obviously you definitely wonder, but that wasn't the case. Like always say, you try to approach every day like it's a new day. It's tough to think about and we can sit here and worry about things until the cows come home, but is that going to do any good; no. You always wonder. You always wonder what if that puck didn't hit the post and we scored that goal, kind of stuff like that. We could still be playing and have a Stanley Cup ring. There's a lot of situations that you wonder about, but it's definitely a tough one for sure to not be out there with the guys.