Well, ok, not for Rick Nash himself, or the current situation he finds himself in as a new member of the New York Rangers. Heck, no moment of silence necessary for the Columbus Blue Jackets, since they got some good pieces back. No, Blues fans. I think everyone here knows what the moment of silence is for.
And probably more notably, this:
So, no chance to trot out the Oshie exploding Nash on a big hit .gifs six times a season. Now? Now we're limited to just one. Considering the fact that Nash's out of the Central now, however, I think the Oshie/Nash jokes are something most're willing to give up for the benefit of not dealing with him quite so much.
Image courtsey of Spectr17.
Take heart, Blues fans having a panic attack over whether or not the Blues' UFA/RFA dealings have been sufficient. The Central Division won't be the same next year... call it some fortuitous addition by subtraction for the Blues. Shea Weber signed a 14 year ginormous offer sheet from the Philadelphia Flyers last night, and if the Nashville Predators can't/won't match, then Weber's off to the Atlantic Division. This means quite a bit for the Central.
It means it's not the hardest division in the NHL anymore. Not just Weber's possible departure, but the whole damn summer. Here, witness:
- With Ryan Suter and Shea Weber no longer a part of the Nashville Predators, that might make it tougher for Rinne to constantly shut out the Blues 1-0 (note the word "might." I have full faith that Rinne can still do this). At the very least, it makes the Preds less of a threat to play against.
- The Blackhawks, while still a threat thanks to their firepower, have a goaltending tandem that's easily exploited.
- The Detroit Red Wings have lost Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart both (but hey, Kyle Quincey!) and they could also lose Tomas Holmstrom, who is a constant pain in St. Louis' ass. And oh, Jonas Gustavsson as backup. This has not been their best off-season in Hockey Town.
- The Columbus Blue Jackets will still be not very good, and might be not very good without Rick Nash.
So, there you go. Before anyone freaks out about how the Blues didn't throw insane amounts of cash at an UFA defenseman or how they lost out on Zach Parise (again, that wasn't going to happen anyway), here. Just look at the rest of the division. The Blues've basically maintained the status quo from a division winning team that finished third in the NHL. They'll probably continue the SQ by re-signing Carlo Colaiacovo, and Vladimir Tarasenko will be a blast to watch hopefully.
Calm down. The Blues might not've gotten better, but this isn't the Central of just a few seasons ago.
Cam Janssen needed to apologize for his comments on the Thom and Jeff Show. They were terribly unprofessional, and as I was explaining to someone on Twitter last night, when you're the representative of multi-million dollar businesses like the Devils and the NHL, you need to remember that everywhere you go. This, more so than the words said, is what bothered me. What he said though, wow. Hard to take back stuff like that. Good to see that he kind of didn't. From the Devils' website:
"Earlier this week, I participated in an internet-based radio show in which I used some poor judgment which I now regret. The New Jersey Devils were unaware of this interview, which I arranged myself.
"I would like to apologize for my poor choice of language. The tone of the interview was very casual and off-color, and I lost focus on what is and is not acceptable and professional. I am deeply sorry to anyone who was offended by my language. Moving forward, I hope to eliminate that type of language from my vocabulary. I would also like to take this chance to express my support for the work the You Can Play project is doing, and for the gay community in general.
"I apologize for the embarrassment my comments have caused to the New Jersey Devils management, as well as my teammates."
Ok, yes, that was probably more than likely motivated by the ire that the Devils felt. He mentioned that it was unprofessional, and yes it was. But Janssen doesn't apologize for what he said. He apologizes for how he said it. Granted he probably could have said "yeah, if I have something against a guy I'll use it out there" instead of "Oh, if he's sucking cock, he's getting his ass kicked." I also agree with Patrick Burke's stance that if you don't let Janssen learn from it it's doing no good. You don't learn lessons by being screamed at every time you goof, and the person doing the screaming isn't getting any brownie points either.
You know, I never really disliked Cam Janssen while he was on the Blues. Did I think some of his hits could have been a bit cleaner? Duh. Do I think that he's a meathead? Sure, but the sound clips that the Blues fans were treated to were those of the "lovable meathead" variety. Just a goofy guy playing hockey, right? Pride of Eureka, MO and all of that.
Is he a good hockey player? No. Did he always know his place? Sure, even if by default because there wasn't any room to not know it. He's not Ryan Reaves. He's not a fourth liner capable of creating chances. He has minimal hockey sense... and it appears that he has minimal sense, period.
From an interview with Thom and Jeff comes the Devils' enforcer's private thoughts on his role on the ice, amongst other things. It doesn't paint the best image.
Sadly, B.J. Crombeen's four year time in St. Louis has come to a conclusion. The Blues've dealt him to the Tampa Bay Lightning (along with a fifth round pick) for Tampa Bay's fourth-rounders in this and next year's draft. Beener might not've gotten the Blues much as far as a trade return goes, but he gave the fans in St. Louis something priceless - awesome facial expressions (also, if I need to give credit for any images, please shoot me a line and it shall be done).
This is one of those "better late than never" posts, I suppose. I've noticed this for a while and I've commented about it a few times on Twitter in the past month or so, but the synergy between the Blues and Cardinals, especially the FoxSports Midwest broadcasts, is something to behold.
Some folks disliked the fact that the Blues had the World Series Champion Cardinals honored at a game, with Tony LaRussa toting out the trophy and dropping the puck, and with constant mentions of the Cardinals players that were up in the box. The thing is, this wasn't just the Cardinals overshadowing the Blues on their home turf. A lot of the Blues players frequent Cardinals games, and vice versa (Chris Carpenter is in attendance at Blues games quite a bit).
About a year or so ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Canucks blogger Dani Toth from Benched Whale. We talked about our respective favorite franchises, and she asked what I thought of the Blues' future. My honest answer: the Blues had a lot of exciting young talent, but did not possess the financial muscle to become a truly elite team and legit Stanley Cup contender. Specifically, in the absence of an owner willing to lose a lot of money, they lacked the wherewithal to acquire what the franchise has missed since Keith Tkachuk hit the wrong side of 30: a go-to goal scorer, particularly one who can dominate on the power play.
The Blues have a lot of supplemental scorers and admirable hard workers with some skill, but no one who can create and finish their own chances consistently (Oshie and Steen, for example, create chances for themselves but neither one is a very good finisher--Steen in particular hits more glass than a window-washer). That's not necessarily an indictment of the franchise: those guys are pretty rare to find in the first place. When a team does find one, it's rare that they let them go to hit free agency. And when they do, those players command top dollar. The Blues simply do not have the revenue base to afford to be players for the likes of Kovalchuk or Hossa, and were unfortunate enough to be truly terrible at exactly the wrong time, having the No. 1 overall pick in a year where Erik Johnson was the best available player, and not Sid Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Kane or Steven Stamkos.
(Irrelevant aside: the best pure scorer in the 2006 draft has turned out to be Phil Kessel, at No. 5 overall, although either Jonathan Toews (no. 3) or Claude Giroux (no. 22) might well be better all-around players.)
(Further irrelevant aside: 2006 was a lousy draft year all the way around. The dropoff from those players mentioned above to the next tier--Jordan Staal, Michael Grabner, Nicklas Backstrom--is pretty steep, and there weren't more than a handful of players from Round 2 or later who have even made the NHL. Contrast this with 2007, where teams have gotten productive NHL minutes out of late-rounders like Keith Aulie (4), Luca Caputi (4), Dwight King (4), Linus Omark (4), Matt Frattin (4), Jamie Benn (5), Carl Hagelin (6) and Karl Gunnarson (7).)
If the Blues' offseason strategy thus far in the summer of 2012 is any indication, that won't be changing any time soon. Tom Stillman is great to have as a new owner, but he can't magically make millions in TV revenue appear. In fact, the Checketts regime did a pretty darn good job of squeezing money out of the corporate community ("It's TIME....for an AMEREN UE POWER PLAY!!!!"). Thus, the Blues have worked to re-sign their own players. (A cynic might say that they've opted to commit to second-round playoff exits for the next few years.)
Chatting on Twitter with Laura the other day, it struck me: the Blues are the Milwaukee Brewers of the NHL. They rely heavily on internal development, can occasionally stretch to get a decent free agent, but often have to acquire help on the trade market (always more desirable to give up cash than talent, IMO), but will have a difficult time retaining their own superstars (Prince Fielder). And, ultimately, while the team can occasionally get enough breaks to make a bit of a playoff run, will never be perennial contenders and can in no way be considered among the elite franchises.
So the Blues are the Milwaukee Brewers? Is that the best comparison? The Tampa Bay Rays made it to the World Series a few years back, competing in a division with financial powerhouses Boston and New York--a task not unlike competing with the deep pockets of the Hawks and Wings. The Rays relied on their development system, one key veteran hired gun (Troy Percival), and the best non-LaRussa manager in baseball to make an incredible run, falling just short of the prize. Since then, they've made the postseason two out of three seasons, though look to be falling short in 2012.
That would be a nice, achievable future for the Blues: making the playoffs more often than not, mostly with homegrown players and top-notch coaching. If you're lucky, and the cards fall just right, they might have a deep run every once in a while.
About flipping time.
It’s taken too long, considering that he retired in 2004 and has been eligible for five years, but Adam Oates has finally been selected to join the Hockey Hall of Fame. Oates had the most points of anyone not in the HHOF, but he is probably best known for his time playing with Brett Hull. Thankfully that coincided with the early 90s to give us the “Hull and Oates” meme for three seasons.
While Hull was putting up insane goal totals in ‘89-90 – ’91-’92 (72, 86, and 70, respectively), Oates was making it happen with assist totals of 79, 90, and 59.
Unfortunately, Oates was dealt to the Boston Bruins after the 1991-1992 season for Craig Janney, and Hull never cracked 60 goals without Oates on his line. Hull would have reached St. Louis sports legend status regardless, but it was nice to have Oates here for three seasons to give the guy a hand.no comments
Ok, no, that's hyperbole... the one I watched yesterday featuring a basket full of kittens probably is. However, this video was featured on Puck Daddy today and made me laugh my ass off. If you're having a bad day and just need a laugh, this is for you.
Also, he drops quicker than Pavelec. Oh Winnipeg... you probably should have offered this kid an insane contract too.
I noticed that, while I was looking at the Blues' draft picks' profiles, the Blues have quite the number of social network mediums covered. Instagram? Check. Facebook? Duh. Foursquare? Of course. The one that stood out the most, though, is the one where a vast majority of users are female and posting links to craft projects that involve things from junkyards: the Blues have a Pinterest page.
Now don't get me wrong -- I have a page too, though as opposed to every 25 year old mother out there I'm not posting fun children's treat ideas. I tend to post recipies and hockey stuff, along with massive amounts of cute cat photographs, which automatically makes me worse than the 25 year old moms posting photos of knitted baby beanies. I also tend to use Pinterest and StumbleUpon together as an unholy combo of time wasting.
This is a sharp move by the Blues, considering how many hockey fans are women, and how many are older women who have followed the team for years. Also, I'm pretty sure that there are some knitted baby Blues beanies just DYING to be pinned and re-pinned out there.