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Blues Go Quietly into Another Good Night

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04-26-2012, 05:53 PM
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Blues Go Quietly into Another Good Night

(AP) St. Louis: It would seem even playing the role of underdog, isnít enough to help the St. Louis Blues advance beyond the first round of the HFNHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Another year, another first round exit.

Shedding their conference favorite moniker Ė even in playoff year where both conference top seeds were toppled early and easily in 5 games Ė wasnít enough to shake the Blues post-season blues.

And despite managementís best game face, this season has been a tremendous disappointment on all fronts for the team.

After a horrendous start, the team was able to battle back into a playoff position within the final weeks, but even that hot stretch only served to mask the reality this organization now faces.

With aging veterans seemingly content to hang on far into the twilight years of their careers, management needs to decide what to do with the likes of Joe Thornton, Daniel Alfredsson, Chris Pronger, and perhaps even Zdeno Chara. Both Pronger and Alfredsson could retire, or be back. Thornton and Chara are signed long-term and will be back, but should they be?

The team made several trades, which accomplished little, other than bringing on several players at the crossroads of their careers, including the likes of Michael Frolik, Brian Lee and Niklas Bergfors. Hardly the transformation this organization requires.

And while a young nucleus is forming, it is still a small group that isnít getting the ice time, nor the opportunity to lead this team, as many think it should. This crowd includes the likes of Jordan Eberle, Dustin Byfuglien, Marc Staal and David Bolland. The team is also seemingly set in goal with Jimmy Howard and Jhonas Enroth, along with a deep group of prospects, albeit without a major impact player.

With the offseason underway for the Blues, rumours have already circulated that several trades are in the works, most interestingly involving some of the teamís prospects. Details have been scant, but likely just the beginning of what might be a transformative year for once mighty Blues.

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