Everybody who claims to be a hockey expert is expecting and demanding the bewildered Blues management group to make a trade, and make it happen soon. One would think this would be an obvious way to go. With the team missing their three top forwards in T.J. Oshie (broken ankle), David Perron and Andy McDonald (concussions), there is no question the Blues are hurting for offense. But the Blues were hurting for offense with them in the lineup. That my friends is the whole point of this upcoming brilliant article.
If you’ve had the pleasure of reading any of my previous stellar work, you know how I feel about Blues management. My last piece of work titled “Blues Management Should Be Arrested” may give you a small clue. The time to improve the team’s offense was at the trade deadline last season and/or during this past offseason. There were skilled players available who could have contributed offensively. Management decided not to go this route. Their choice. But this irrational, uneducated and arrogant decision is simply now coming back to bite them in their respective wallets, which are undoubtedly fat thanks in large part to the loyal Blues fans packing the Scottrade Center, paying an absurd price to park their unregistered, uninsured vehicles, and of course shelling out plenty of benjamins these fans collect on unemployment for Budweiser products. I won’t waste the muscles in my fingers pounding on the keyboard any longer in this column proving how Blues management failed their fans, the team and themselves.
What I will do is relay logic and intelligence to this dire situation. I’m quite certain at least one of you obsessive stalkers out there who recently learned how to read will be kind enough to forward this to say, President John Davidson (Blues President, not the United States) or General Manager Doug Armstrong. Here’s the message: DO NOT MAKE A MAJOR TRADE.
What is the point? The team will be forced to trade either a top prospect or a veteran defenseman who logs well over 20 minutes a night. There are plenty of Eric Brewer and Barret Jackman haters reading this right now who do not and will never understand the importance of these two players. So I will not spend my time in support of them. I will say dealing either one of those two veterans in an attempt to stop the bleeding is a mistake. You then have created more potential problems, this time on the blueline. Yes, it looks as if Ian Cole is ready to take that next step and remain with the team. But trading a veteran defenseman then forces the Ian Cole’s, Nikita Nikitin’s and Tyson Strachan’s of the world to suddenly undertake more responsibility than they are ready for and quite possibly currently qualified.
Yes, not having Oshie, Perron and McDonald in the lineup for an extended period of time will undoubtedly see the team slide in the competitive Western Conference race. Maybe the team misses the playoffs as a result. But why move an important piece of the team due to emergency conditions? Management should have realized with the team’s lack of depth up front the danger they might face due to potential injuries. Well, danger-time is upon us my friends. Do NOT rent a forward to replace who is sidelined if you will lose this player at the end of the season just in hopes of possibly making the playoffs. Do NOT trade for a forward who you don’t feel will be a big part of the Blues plans moving ahead if you have to give up a current impact player. In other words, do NOT panic.
What is the worst case scenario here? The team stays put, waits for the unhealthy to return and fails to make the playoffs for the second straight season? So what. Chalk it up to failure on management’s part. Then let that same group of suits head into the offseason knowing they failed miserably and their careers are on the line. Maybe, just maybe, the team can then land an impact free agent and come back stronger next season. The core unit such as Oshie, Perron, Berglund, Johnson, Pietrangelo and Halak is in place and getting stronger. Veterans such as Brewer and Jackman are needed as well. The injured will eventually return, this season or next.
So there you have it. Rational and logic all wrapped up nice and neat. I am all for improving a team. But chasing your tail is no way to run an organization. Unless of course the owner is Ralston Purina. Who knows, maybe this current group can somehow manage to rack up w’s with an abundance of skill out of the lineup. Nashville seems to do it on a consistent basis. Maybe management will do the smart thing, stop looking at their 401k’s, and take my advice. For the love of the Bluenote, just think before you act.
About the Author
Written by Dave Frederick
Dave has spent more than 20 years covering the NHL for a variety of different media outlets. Most notably ESPN, Fox Sports and the National Hockey League.