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01-27-2008, 03:08 PM
  #28
Brandur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robb_K View Post
I have no doubt that Eller will come to North America for camp (as did Berglund-before returning to Sweden). But did Eller actually say that he'd be willing to play in Peoria NEXT season if he doesn't make the NHL roster out of camp?
He has not said so, to my knowledge. This is just wishful thinking on my part.

That said, if the Blues start getting serious about promoting the deserving players in Peoria, they will have a lot more success in getting their European prospects to cross the pond and play, if necessary, in the AHL.

Case in point: Lemtyugov. He's playing fantastic hockey in Peoria right now. Is he ready for the NHL? Perhaps, perhaps not. But if he doesn't get a chance to earn a spot on the big club this year, and he sees guys like Oshie and Berglund jump ahead of him on the depth chart, he probably will go back to Russia. That will only deter our other European players from coming over.

But, say Lemmy gets a call up, performs well, and plays his way onto the NHL squad. Guys like Alexandrov will be encouraged by this, and might be enticed to come over.

Essentially, we need to reassure our prospects that there is upward mobility in the Blues organization for deserving players. Conversely, we need to show our veterans that there will be accountability. That performance is expected, not merely desired. That their big contracts doesn't grant them immunity, or entitle them to take nights off. There are many hungry, motivated kids in the organization that will battle hard to earn and keep a roster spot, as long as they believe it can be done. If not, they will seek greener pastures. Wouldn't you?

A young, enthusiastic team is, IMO, much more exciting to watch than a team of under-performing veterans.

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