How come the St. Louis Blues "didn't participate in the draft"?
In 1983 after 6yrs of ownership & millions in losses, Ralston Purina pretty much threw the keys to the arena on the NHL's desk & walked, couldnt find a buyer, didnt bother sending a rep to the 83 Draft, see ya, outta here.... the NHL was left holding the bag, faced with Contraction (no buyers) or Relocation to Saskatoon, former WHA Maverick Wild Bill Hunter wanting to buy & move the Blues north. The NHL wanted none of that, so they Contracted the Franchise, then 15 minutes later re-constituted it and sold it for a song to the colourful & flamboyant Harry Ornest of California who kept the team in Missouri, sold some time later and made out like a Bandit. The "St.Louis Shuffle" as its been called in some circles.
On May 31, 1983, the Saskatoon group cut its commitment to the sale, leaving Ralston Purina with no buyer. On June 7, 1983, angry Ralston Purina executives said the Blues would boycott the NHL draft, and the team would be tendered to the NHL, which could try to find a buyer while Ralston pursued its suit. The NHL could not decide what it wanted to do with the Blues before the draft, and as a result, nobody spoke for the team on draft day. On June 13, 1983, learning Ralston Purina would liquidate the team's assets if the NHL did not agree to its settlement, the NHL finally took over the Blues. By August, the league was able to sell the team to California businessman Harry Ornest for the bargain-basement price of $3 million, and the franchise was safe in St. Louis. The scar of missing a draft, however, remained for years.