In a discussion about the Blues in the Lalime thread on the trade board, we went on a tangent about Jarmo Kekalainen's time in Ottawa. When he left his position as head scout in 2001, I thought this franchise was doomed to being an average drafting team. He seemed to be the guy behind it. Superstar players like Hossa and Havlat were his doing. He also was able to produce a couple of role players per draft, like Dackell, Rachunek or Arvedson.
When he went to the Blues, I thought they would reap the rewards. Instead, they seem to have a poor draft record under him. We are still early, but, Jarmo had the tendency of drafting a few guys that were able to enter our line-up immediately. It was theorized that maybe it's St. Louis coaching philosophy, that doesn't allow these guys to crack the line-up, but, I'm uncertain. All the guys that we brought over, from what I recall, seemed to have a lock on the line-up spots right away. After all, most were drafted during our improving years.
However, doing some research, I noticed that guys like Arvedson, Dackell and Salo zero time in the minors. They came over from Europe, and seemed to have a spot in the line-up (Salo actually had 6 games in the minors, but, I don't consider that long enough to warrant a "stint"). Does anyone remember the details of how they broke onto the team? Were they handed spots in the line-up, or did they earn them in camp?
I just find it curious, as, I don't seem to remember any details about it. They just sort of appeared on our roster. I know we lacked depth at the time, but, I find it pretty fascinating that guys drafted in middle and late rounds were able to crack the roster immediately.
Arvedson and Dackell were more experienced players brought in with the hope that they would make the team but each of them validated theory and earned a spot in the lineup based on performance in camp. Mind you the Sens were such a bad team back then that it would have been tough for anyone with experience and a decent amount of skill not to make the team.
Salo, I thought, was different. I'm probably wrong on this but I thought he was more or less just a regular draft pick (maybe a year past his draft eligibility but certainly not as experienced as the other two) and he just really surprised at training camp and took it from there.