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Old
03-12-2004, 04:24 AM
  #1
Felix
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Random thoughts

Pronger, Backman, Jackman, Salvador and Walker - looks loke to be our D for the years to come. Does anyone have any problems with that?

Some fans say that Weight should be dumped because he's never lived up to expectations in STL. Other say that they'd wait untill the end of this year playoffs to see if he could repeat his last playoffs performance...
My opinion is that even Joe Sakic sucks playing with 3rd and 4th liners on his flanks (last years playoffs are indications to this when he played with Bataglia and Vrbata if I recall correct). And i do not expect something ubusual from Weight with Savage on his flank...
And this organization should be ashamed with not supplying him with true sniper.

On Pleau. Yes, he's made mistakes and he's also made some good things. I think he's been learning on his mistakes. I do not want to blame him now for Tkachuk trade that depleted our farm. If he did not trade for KT at that time (what just everyone demanded from him - to get a top-class powerforward) and Blues would not win the Cup, Pleau would be accused the same way he's been accused so far. That's history now.
In that regard I'm glad Pleau did not overpay for say Rucinsky or other players at this years trade deadline. It indicates me that he smoothely tries to return to the plan of developing own young players. Blues already have great core of players to build around (Pronger, Demitra, Tkachuk, Weight and Jackman). All of them have at least 7-8 years left to play their best hockey. And Jackman even more. First of all this franchise needs now time.

On money. Letting Demitra go this summer would kill this franchise. In my opinion he is one of the most complete players Blues have and every team needs. He is both sniper and playmaker. Remember his play with Bartecko and Handzus& It was only Demitra who carried this line. And yes, I know that he lackes toughness unlike Tkachuk. KT is also great player but he can't carry the line like Demitra. I'd better say not "carry", but make others produce and produce with others.
And Weight in my opinion is another player like Demitra (although without attributes of sniper but with a lot more grit).

Assuming Mac's and Mell's retirements (total of 8 mil), departe of BJ (1.1 mil) and not resighning of Khavy (1.3 mil) allows to reduce payroll by around 10 mil. Although take into account raises to RFAs, sighnings of minor UFAs wich would take up to 5 mil. That's reduction of payroll by 5 mil (to the number of appr. 55 mil.)
My rough calculations indicate that in case of keeping the core we have now Blues can't reduce payroll to 45 mil (the number wich if I recall correctly was stated by Pleau earlier) and fill all wholes to be true contenders. Even assuming Pronger's cut of salary at 2 mil., Weight's cut at say 1.5 mil an Tkachuk's option for that season at only 5 mil, Blues payroll would be around 50 mil (takind into account raises to RFAs and UFA signings). That means one of our top-paid players. Interesting, does KT's no-trade clause have validity for his final season with 5 mil option for Blues?
Let's hope our youth would grow up and we'd see another Nagy (or two) on the horizon by the year of 2006/07...

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03-12-2004, 05:42 AM
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Felix
Pronger, Backman, Jackman, Salvador and Walker - looks loke to be our D for the years to come. Does anyone have any problems with that?

Some fans say that Weight should be dumped because he's never lived up to expectations in STL. Other say that they'd wait untill the end of this year playoffs to see if he could repeat his last playoffs performance...
My opinion is that even Joe Sakic sucks playing with 3rd and 4th liners on his flanks (last years playoffs are indications to this when he played with Bataglia and Vrbata if I recall correct). And i do not expect something ubusual from Weight with Savage on his flank...
And this organization should be ashamed with not supplying him with true sniper.

On Pleau. Yes, he's made mistakes and he's also made some good things. I think he's been learning on his mistakes. I do not want to blame him now for Tkachuk trade that depleted our farm. If he did not trade for KT at that time (what just everyone demanded from him - to get a top-class powerforward) and Blues would not win the Cup, Pleau would be accused the same way he's been accused so far. That's history now.
In that regard I'm glad Pleau did not overpay for say Rucinsky or other players at this years trade deadline. It indicates me that he smoothely tries to return to the plan of developing own young players. Blues already have great core of players to build around (Pronger, Demitra, Tkachuk, Weight and Jackman). All of them have at least 7-8 years left to play their best hockey. And Jackman even more. First of all this franchise needs now time.

On money. Letting Demitra go this summer would kill this franchise. In my opinion he is one of the most complete players Blues have and every team needs. He is both sniper and playmaker. Remember his play with Bartecko and Handzus& It was only Demitra who carried this line. And yes, I know that he lackes toughness unlike Tkachuk. KT is also great player but he can't carry the line like Demitra. I'd better say not "carry", but make others produce and produce with others.
And Weight in my opinion is another player like Demitra (although without attributes of sniper but with a lot more grit).

Assuming Mac's and Mell's retirements (total of 8 mil), departe of BJ (1.1 mil) and not resighning of Khavy (1.3 mil) allows to reduce payroll by around 10 mil. Although take into account raises to RFAs, sighnings of minor UFAs wich would take up to 5 mil. That's reduction of payroll by 5 mil (to the number of appr. 55 mil.)
My rough calculations indicate that in case of keeping the core we have now Blues can't reduce payroll to 45 mil (the number wich if I recall correctly was stated by Pleau earlier) and fill all wholes to be true contenders. Even assuming Pronger's cut of salary at 2 mil., Weight's cut at say 1.5 mil an Tkachuk's option for that season at only 5 mil, Blues payroll would be around 50 mil (takind into account raises to RFAs and UFA signings). That means one of our top-paid players. Interesting, does KT's no-trade clause have validity for his final season with 5 mil option for Blues?
Let's hope our youth would grow up and we'd see another Nagy (or two) on the horizon by the year of 2006/07...
Interestimg points, I have some thoughts as well. Totally agree on your point about the future of the D. Not only do we have the guys you mentioned but in our farm systen the strength seems to be on D. Belle, Byrne, Fitzgerald, Scheffelmaier ect all seem to have the potential to play at the next level.

On Weight I have somewhat different feelings. I know that during his tenure here his linemates havent been the best. I just think that sometimes he doesnt bring all he can from what I see when I watch the games at the rink or on TV. Sometimes I need to see him be more of the Doug Weight that I saw play for Edmonton and In the plyoffs last year. He made things happen. He was to me just a notch below the elite centers Sakic, Modano, Forsberg ect. Even if his linemates lack finishing ability I want too see his line create chances. If he gets the puck to Rycroft, Drake, Savage whoever and they shoot wide or right into the goalies chest its not his fault he created a chance. I also want to see him shoot more if his linemates cant finish, his shot is good enough and he is a goood enough player to change his game. It will be interesting to see how he does with Savage, When he ggets on a streak he can finish.

Your point about Pleau, could go for all GM's I personally like the guy he seems to be able to do a good job when given money. When ownership put out a mandate to get a Power Forward, as you said he got the best one available. I dont know how much bringing Lindros in for a physical was a plan B in case they didnt get Tkachuk or if it was to make Cliff Fletcher and the Coyotes **** or get off the pot, but I think we can all agree that he ended up getting the guy that the organisation wanted.

I disagree about the fact that he overpaid, Elite power forwards always cost a bundle they are not easy to come by. The thing I will say in Heinsight is that naybe the organisation as a whole switched to the win now philosophy too quick they should have waited to do it until they had more assets in volume on the farm.

Has Larry made bad deals. Hell Yes. The whole time he has been here there has been talk about getting an offensive D man in here to cut Al's minutes that never happened. Sean Hill was a disaster. When they brought Rich Pilon and Mike Keane i here to add grit both failed miserably although for different reasons. Rich Pilon lasted all of eight games before he had a career ending wrist injury ( that shoudnt have been a suprise the guy was injury prone his whole career. The Keane thing Perplexes me to this day, the guy is reagarded as a great leader and should have been a solid pickup. you would have had to have been in the locker room to figure out why that didnt work.

He has made some very good deals however. How does Scott Mellanby for Dave Morrisette sound. Bringing in Dallas Drake was a great move. Also If you remember right we had compettitive offers for both Ray Bourque and Dominik Hasek only to have both guys choose other teams. I am going to catch a lot of heat for this one but Jeff Finley was a steal. Before you rip me to shreads on that think back to the trade. We got Finley and Geoff Smith fron the Rangers for Chris Kenady. I dont know how many games Finley has played for the Blues and I amnot going for the media guide right now but its a lot and Kenady is probably playing in the minors or a Minnisota beer league right now.

I think the thing that will make or break Larry is the hiring of Yarmo Kekalienen. If this guy can do for us what he helped do for the Sens, Larry will look a hell of alot smarter because th cupboard will be full and that is the lifeblood of a organisation. One draft is too soon to tell but I have hope.

The money issue i dont understand enough to comment on so I am going to just leave it go.

Demitra is the only point that I strongly disagree on. I think he is by far the most skillled forward on our team and I know I am going to get attacked a bit for this but I think he is a bit of a tin man and I think moving him this Summer would have been a good thing because his value had to be very high and with the skill that he has I want to see him carry a team like an elite player. To me he doesnt have it in him and he plays too much on the perimiter. I would move him this summer if a deal came along that allowed us to fill a couple of holes.

Thoughts

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03-12-2004, 07:27 AM
  #3
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Thanks for your opinions. I appreciate them very much.

On my turn just want to say the next.

1. I agree with you totally that Blues having acquired KT maybe just decided to employ win-now-approach a year or two earlier when there were not enough assets on the farm to compensate for teh traded ones. If they'd just waited a year more when Weight was acquired and Nagy established himself as decent scorer...
2. I do not want to say that Demitra should be untouchable. Not at all. But I'd trade him away only in case when either Blues get roster player(s) and prospects who can immediately fill created holes + total salary of acquired palyers would be less then Demitra's or Blues get roster player(s) and prospects who can immediately fill created holes and their total salaries are not higher then Demitra's. The whole idea of that trade should be not increasing payroll and getting one or two roster players that would immediately fill existing holes and would fit into Blues system (I'd like to see a playmaking centre to supply KT and young score to complement Weight).
3. I like what Pleau's done on defense (primarily in terms of drafting). Mind, Blues have assets on defense to make a trade if needed.
With Jarmo on the board I'd give Pleau another 7 years to compose offensive core.
I understand that Blues are not going to have top choices in draft to get Spezza or Heatley. That means that Pleau would need to make trades in order to acquire top-notch player(s). And I want him to make that trades that time only in case Blues have enough assets.

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03-12-2004, 06:55 PM
  #4
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Joe sakic had 9 point in 7 playoff games with Battaglia and Vrbata...so that comparison to Weight doesn't wash. Sakic just dominates. while i think tkackuck is an awesome player, i do think L.P. overpaid a little for the "power" part of his game. i think you'll win just the same with a smaller "finesse-type" guy who can put up similar points. go through the defense or around the defense...if you can put the puck in the net, you'll win.
Sticking with the Sakic comparisons....doesn't K.T. make about the same as Joe? if so...he is overpaid. upon comparing resumes, Sakic should earn twice K.T. And is K.T. that much better than Tard Bertuzzi? I.M.O. Kieth is a little better.

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03-12-2004, 07:11 PM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FACTORY
Joe sakic had 9 point in 7 playoff games with Battaglia and Vrbata...so that comparison to Weight doesn't wash. Sakic just dominates. while i think tkackuck is an awesome player, i do think L.P. overpaid a little for the "power" part of his game. i think you'll win just the same with a smaller "finesse-type" guy who can put up similar points. go through the defense or around the defense...if you can put the puck in the net, you'll win.
Sticking with the Sakic comparisons....doesn't K.T. make about the same as Joe? if so...he is overpaid. upon comparing resumes, Sakic should earn twice K.T. And is K.T. that much better than Tard Bertuzzi? I.M.O. Kieth is a little better.
sakic doesnt have nearly the physical impact as tkachuk does.. he makes plays happen with it.

i dont think KT has the hands of bertuzzi... but i think KT is tougher down by the net. but then again.. i dont see bertuzzi play nearly as much as KT

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03-12-2004, 07:44 PM
  #6
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i'm sorry...my post wasn't very clear. i was comparing Sakic to Tkachuk, in salaries only. my point is that, in my opinion, Tkachuk shouldn't be making near what Sakic does. i think most people would agree with you that Sakic is more of a "finesse and speed" type player than KT. and KT is obviously more of a "physical force" type. Tkachuk doesn't have as many moves, but i love watching him curl toward the middle of the ice and power his way to the net...it's awesome!

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03-12-2004, 07:44 PM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FACTORY
Joe sakic had 9 point in 7 playoff games with Battaglia and Vrbata...so that comparison to Weight doesn't wash. Sakic just dominates. while i think tkackuck is an awesome player, i do think L.P. overpaid a little for the "power" part of his game. i think you'll win just the same with a smaller "finesse-type" guy who can put up similar points. go through the defense or around the defense...if you can put the puck in the net, you'll win.
Sticking with the Sakic comparisons....doesn't K.T. make about the same as Joe? if so...he is overpaid. upon comparing resumes, Sakic should earn twice K.T. And is K.T. that much better than Tard Bertuzzi? I.M.O. Kieth is a little better.
I myself didnt compare Weight to Sakic in a favorable light. The stats you cuoted makes my point. Weight needs to elevate those around him before he is put in that category. I think he has the ability to do it he has done it in spurts that is what is scary about getting rid of him.

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03-12-2004, 08:01 PM
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how do i put your quote in a box like that? i'm new here.

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03-12-2004, 08:32 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FACTORY
how do i put your quote in a box like that? i'm new here.
Just hit the "Reply" button...

When your Reply To Thread screen comes up, you'll see in brackets the name of the person you're quoting, then the quote itself, then in brackets the "close quote" function.

It looks like this (substitute brackets [ ] for the braces ** } I've used in this example):

{QUOTE=FACTORY}how do i put your quote in a box like that? i'm new here.**/QUOTE}

Hope that helps, and welcome aboard.

Your friendly neighborhood PrussianBlue

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03-12-2004, 09:20 PM
  #10
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Originally Posted by PrussianBlue
Hope that helps, and welcome aboard.

Your friendly neighborhood PrussianBlue
got it...thanx. i had been using the "post reply" button on the left.

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03-12-2004, 10:19 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Felix
Pronger, Backman, Jackman, Salvador and Walker - looks loke to be our D for the years to come. Does anyone have any problems with that?

My opinion is that even Joe Sakic sucks playing with 3rd and 4th liners on his flanks (last years playoffs are indications to this when he played with Bataglia and Vrbata if I recall correct).
this is the statement about wieght vs. Sakic that i was replying to. can anyone offer an analysis of Walker's game? i have seen him play in several games, but i haven't really noticed him much....which may be because he makes few mistakes. is that the case?

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03-13-2004, 06:16 AM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c-carp
I myself didnt compare Weight to Sakic in a favorable light. The stats you cuoted makes my point. Weight needs to elevate those around him before he is put in that category. I think he has the ability to do it he has done it in spurts that is what is scary about getting rid of him.
On comparison of Weight to Sakic.
No doubt, Sakic is clearly better player. In my opinion, Sakic is one of the best centers not just in modern NHL. Therefore he makes that much money.
By the way, Bataglia and Vrbata are in general rather similar players to Drake and Rucinsky. And Weight had 13 points with them in last years playoffs.
Despite this, I do agree that Weight still needs to elevate his game. But come on, not with Rycroft and Drake. That would mean to demand production from Sakic with say Barnaby and Honote on his fkanks.
Weight is to earn around 7 mil in each of the next two years. I could leave with that. But please, provide him with at least two decent 20-25 goals scorers - and he'd almost sure make one of them a 30-35 goals scorer...

As of KT.
No doubt, he is one of just several elite powerforwards. I'd even call him the best one. But I do not think that he is worth 10 mil a year for the team. My word is 7 mil at maximum.

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03-13-2004, 11:20 AM
  #13
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Agree with most of your post Felix, except for a couple of points.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Felix
Some fans say that Weight should be dumped because he's never lived up to expectations in STL. Other say that they'd wait untill the end of this year playoffs to see if he could repeat his last playoffs performance...
My opinion is that even Joe Sakic sucks playing with 3rd and 4th liners on his flanks (last years playoffs are indications to this when he played with Bataglia and Vrbata if I recall correct). And i do not expect something ubusual from Weight with Savage on his flank...
And this organization should be ashamed with not supplying him with true sniper . . .

On Pleau. . . I'm glad Pleau did not overpay for say Rucinsky or other players at this years trade deadline. It indicates me that he smoothely tries to return to the plan of developing own young players. Blues already have great core of players to build around (Pronger, Demitra, Tkachuk, Weight and Jackman). All of them have at least 7-8 years left to play their best hockey. And Jackman even more. First of all this franchise needs now time.
Sakic's linemates in the playoffs last year were Bates Battaglia and Steve Reinprecht. Radim Vrbata was traded for Battaglia at the deadline last year which was widely criticised by Avs fans. So far, Vrbata has done very little and his potential has been greatly downgraded. But that's neither here nor there.

Dealing with the rest of your post in the quote box above, I am in total agreement with Doug Weight; it's hard to elevate a team when your linemates are muckers and grinders. However, the biggest error that Pleau made this year was the trade that he didn't make. I am referring to the trade of Geoff Sanderson to the Vancouver Canucks for a 3rd round pick in 2004.

Money issues aside (I believe Sanderson is in the first year of a 3-year deal paying him $3M per), a third round pick is not altogether all that successful; in the last 10 years, only Mike Comrie, Brad Richards, and Zdeno Chara have emerged from the third round as bona-fide talents, though we're waiting to see what Peter Kanko from 2002 will do.

Sanderson has not had a good year this year stats-wise compared to last year, but he also lost 1st-line minutes to Rick Nash (something that you could hardly blame on Sanderson). He still has the talent to put out 20 goals and 55+ points per year. Combined with Weight, almost the best set-up man in the NHL, you could bump those up even more. Stick Mellanby on the right side for the garbage goals and mucking, and that's a pretty good 2nd-line, albeit old.

Pleau had the opportunity to come out of the trade deadline with some pretty cheap offensive talent, and instead came out with Brain Savage and Ryan Ready. Admittedly, it cost them nothing, but as it is said, "Nothing comes from nothing".

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03-13-2004, 12:35 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubina_Fan
Sakic's linemates in the playoffs last year were Bates Battaglia and Steve Reinprecht. Radim Vrbata was traded for Battaglia at the deadline last year which was widely criticised by Avs fans. So far, Vrbata has done very little and his potential has been greatly downgraded. But that's neither here nor there.


...Pleau had the opportunity to come out of the trade deadline with some pretty cheap offensive talent, and instead came out with Brain Savage and Ryan Ready. Admittedly, it cost them nothing, but as it is said, "Nothing comes from nothing".
thanx Kubina_Fan...that IS how the Sakic thing went down. Vrbata scored 18 goals in 52 regular season games playing with Sakic. then Lacroix wanted to get bigger on the wing for the playoffs so he shipped the upstart forward to the canes for Battaglia, hoping Bates would regain his scoring touch from the year before when he helped the canes to the S.C. finals. Bates never did much for the avs. Vrbata also hasn't done much since. and for the sake of our debate, sakic did have Reinprecht on his left for the playoffs, and Reinprecht is better than both those chumps.

i agree with you about Sanderson...Bondra too. i hate to beat a dead horse, but Rucinsky, Stillman, and Bure are better than what Weight has had on his wings all season. I was all for project Sejna, but that hasn't worked out.

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03-13-2004, 02:41 PM
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Sanderson lost time because he was playing very poorly, Nash was on the second until around the christmas break. Sanderson could not get any thing on the net and would just float. I gald the Blues did not trade for him.

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03-13-2004, 02:55 PM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FACTORY
this is the statement about wieght vs. Sakic that i was replying to. can anyone offer an analysis of Walker's game? i have seen him play in several games, but i haven't really noticed him much....which may be because he makes few mistakes. is that the case?
From what I have seen of Matt Walker he can be a very solid 5 0r 6 d-man in the NHL that will add sandpaper to the unit. The kid has a mean streak and isnt afraid to drop the mitts. I dont think he will be a point producer, so your point about not noticing him is probably valid in the context that you use it. 210 or someone that saw him in Worcester may be able to add more here. Walker decisioned Colorado heavy Jim Cummins in a good bout earlier this year.

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03-26-2004, 03:15 PM
  #17
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Say what you want about Weight not having quality linemates to flank him, if he's an "elite center" as we've all been led to believe then he'll elevate the game of whoever is on his line. Instead, it's like he can't perform unless he has the perfect linemates with him.

I fault him more for his failure to be the playmaker he's supposed to be regardless of who's on his wing. He's all too happy to go sit in front of the net and let someone else try to feed him the puck for him to try the easy tap-in instead of his doing the setting up like he should be. He's been extremely soft going after the puck at times, not even trying to fight for loose pucks at other times, and in the last 10 games I've seen the Blues on TV he's been largely invisible. He *might* have 1 good play a game, and that's stretching it at times.

Bottom line, even if he's got Mayers and Low on his line he should still be able to at least create offense, even if his linemates can't finish. Right now he couldn't make a shadow on a sunny day in Arizona.

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03-26-2004, 07:18 PM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubina_Fan
Money issues aside (I believe Sanderson is in the first year of a 3-year deal paying him $3M per), a third round pick is not altogether all that successful; in the last 10 years, only Mike Comrie, Brad Richards, and Zdeno Chara have emerged from the third round as bona-fide talents, though we're waiting to see what Peter Kanko from 2002 will do.
I'd say that Craig Andersson, Patrick Sharp, Mikael Tellqvist, Kurt Sauer, Niklas Hagman, Mattias Weinhandl, Jarko Ruuttu, Erik Cole, and Brian Gionta are all players that are bona-fide talents as well. I'd have been happy if the Blues had drafted any of those guys in the third round since 1999... especially Cole, Weinhandl or Sauer.

I don't think you can categorically state that third-round picks aren't altogether that successful. I'd like to have any of those players, and especially the forwards (Sharp, Hagman, Weinhandl, Ruuttu, Cole or Gionta) in the Blues' organization.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubina_Fan
Pleau had the opportunity to come out of the trade deadline with some pretty cheap offensive talent, and instead came out with Brain Savage and Ryan Ready. Admittedly, it cost them nothing, but as it is said, "Nothing comes from nothing".
He also came out of the trade deadline with Sillinger, who cost them virtually nothing. I consider Weinrich a trade-deadline acquisition as well, although he was acquired a few weeks prior.

Your point is well-taken that other players were moved at low cost, players who might be better than Savage. But you know as well as I that there are other factors involved in trades, and it may well be that the teams who moved players like Sanderson, etc. simply weren't interested in dealing with the Blues, for whatever reason.

Maybe the Blues' third-round pick wasn't as attractive as someone else's third-round pick; maybe the Blues were telling everyone that they weren't giving up picks in the third round or higher, for anyone.

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03-27-2004, 12:44 PM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Blues
Say what you want about Weight not having quality linemates to flank him, if he's an "elite center" as we've all been led to believe then he'll elevate the game of whoever is on his line. Instead, it's like he can't perform unless he has the perfect linemates with him.

I fault him more for his failure to be the playmaker he's supposed to be regardless of who's on his wing. He's all too happy to go sit in front of the net and let someone else try to feed him the puck for him to try the easy tap-in instead of his doing the setting up like he should be. He's been extremely soft going after the puck at times, not even trying to fight for loose pucks at other times, and in the last 10 games I've seen the Blues on TV he's been largely invisible. He *might* have 1 good play a game, and that's stretching it at times.

Bottom line, even if he's got Mayers and Low on his line he should still be able to at least create offense, even if his linemates can't finish. Right now he couldn't make a shadow on a sunny day in Arizona.
But if teams know that Mayers and Low can't score, all they ned to do is focus on Weight, therefore making it that much harder for Weight to get the puck to Mayers or Low. Why focus on the stone hands guys when they can't hurt you? Eliminate the only threat on that line and you neutralize the whole line. It's not as easy as "Weight should produce no matter who's on his wings." The Blues knew what they were getting when they traded for Weight, an excellent setup man who'll chip in 20 odd goals or so. The onus was on management to get him skilled wingers, and they've failed in that aspect. If anything, Weight's been ridiculously mismanaged.

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03-28-2004, 04:02 AM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrussianBlue
I'd say that Craig Andersson, Patrick Sharp, Mikael Tellqvist, Kurt Sauer, Niklas Hagman, Mattias Weinhandl, Jarko Ruuttu, Erik Cole, and Brian Gionta are all players that are bona-fide talents as well. I'd have been happy if the Blues had drafted any of those guys in the third round since 1999... especially Cole, Weinhandl or Sauer.

I don't think you can categorically state that third-round picks aren't altogether that successful. I'd like to have any of those players, and especially the forwards (Sharp, Hagman, Weinhandl, Ruuttu, Cole or Gionta) in the Blues' organization.
I wouldn't classify Patrick Sharp, Niklas Hagman, Jarkko Ruutu, or Mattias Weinhandl as being near impact players in the NHL. I'd call them fringe at best (something that the Blues have in spades). Gionta I'm not quite sold on yet; he's made a great complement to Elias and Gomez in Jersey, but what can he do otherwise? I'm not saying that he defenitely isn't, but he still has to prove to me otherwise (Actually, he doesn't have to prove anything to me, he's a better hockey player than I could even dream of being). With regards to Cole, that is both of our bads. I overlooked Cole, and he was drafted in '98 (You said since '99!).

After all is said and done though, I think it's pretty easy to say that 3rd round picks are not generally successful. Looking at the past 10 years with 3rd round picks, the possibility of getting someone other than a 3rd-line/3rd pairing defensman are at less than 2%. It's just an absolute crap-shoot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrussianBlue
He also came out of the trade deadline with Sillinger, who cost them virtually nothing. I consider Weinrich a trade-deadline acquisition as well, although he was acquired a few weeks prior.

Your point is well-taken that other players were moved at low cost, players who might be better than Savage. But you know as well as I that there are other factors involved in trades, and it may well be that the teams who moved players like Sanderson, etc. simply weren't interested in dealing with the Blues, for whatever reason.

Maybe the Blues' third-round pick wasn't as attractive as someone else's third-round pick; maybe the Blues were telling everyone that they weren't giving up picks in the third round or higher, for anyone.

PrussianBlue
PB, why dost thou accost me so? I was one of the posters that was hyping the Weinrich deal more than most. And I don't recall saying anything negative about Sillinger as well. I think it was a good trade for both sides involved.

As far as the Sanderson/third round pick thing goes, I know that there are other factors involved, e.g. player salary and contract length, GM affinities for one another, yadda yadda yadda. I'm just angry that it couldn't be done for whatever reason. If I'm in a position of power in the Blues front office (and I think we're all thanking God that it hasn't happened ), I'm perfectly willing to offer more than a third round pick and make sure the trading GM hears me. Joe-middling Prospect and a third round pick instead of a lower third round pick (i.e. Yancouver's)? I think the decision would be easy.

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03-28-2004, 09:28 AM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubina_Fan
I wouldn't classify Patrick Sharp, Niklas Hagman, Jarkko Ruutu, or Mattias Weinhandl as being near impact players in the NHL. I'd call them fringe at best (something that the Blues have in spades). Gionta I'm not quite sold on yet; he's made a great complement to Elias and Gomez in Jersey, but what can he do otherwise? I'm not saying that he defenitely isn't, but he still has to prove to me otherwise (Actually, he doesn't have to prove anything to me, he's a better hockey player than I could even dream of being). With regards to Cole, that is both of our bads. I overlooked Cole, and he was drafted in '98 (You said since '99!).
I did. My fault.

On the others, however, I didn't realize that the discussion was about "near impact players." I thought you mentioned third-rounders not being "generally successful," and not every player who has a successful NHL career is a near impact player.

If I misinterpreted, I apologize, but hear me out as I explain my position.

One of the big issues with the Blues is that they have too many chiefs and not enough Indians; in other words, too many impact-type players and not enough talent in the supporting cast.

If they had drafted a Weinhandl and/or a Hagman, for example, they'd be set on LW instead of having to go out and pick up a Dallas Drake as a UFA (which was, however, one of the better free agent signings the Blues have made). This is a case where a couple of third-rounders would have clearly had the chance to be near impact players (on this team, at least), as the presence of either Weinhandl or Hagman would have lessened the need to trade for Mellanby -- who has done yeoman work for the Blues, but is clearly starting to wind it down.

In any case, compare Weinhandl or Hagman to the Blues current LW corps (below Tkachuk) of Savage, Drake, Mayers and Danton. Danton was a good, low-cost pickup who has filled in well, and Mayers was a Blues draftee, so you keep him. But I'd be willing to swap Drake and Savage for any two of Weinhandl, Hagman, and Gionta... and I'd be willing to bet a lot of money that you would, too.

That's just one instance where drafting guys like that in the third round tends to negate the need for later deals. Here's another.

If they had drafted a Cole, they might not have needed to trade for Tkachuk, and gotten their power forward for one-third the price -- and kept Taffe, Handzus, Nagy and the first-round pick to boot.

Keeping Handzus and Nagy means that the Slovak Pak would have lived on, with Nagy taking Bartecko's place on the LW. Thus, no need to trade for Weight... and they'd still have Taffe as a developing center, or trade bait if needed.

The Blues' third-round pick in 1998 was Matt Walker at 83rd overall, and Cole was already gone to Carolina with the 71st pick. To have a chance at Cole, the Blues would have had to take him with the 41st pick overall, which they surely should have done, in my mind, rather than take the eminently forgettable Max Linnik in that spot.

That's a Pleau mistake, but it was also Pleau's first draft with the Blues, and he did significantly add to the team's depth in that draft by selecting Christian Backman, Walker, and John Pohl... so overlooking Cole can be forgiven to some degree.

I stand by my statement that I'd like to have Weinhandl (rumored to be involved in a Weight deal to the Islanders), Hagman (a good defensive forward with scoring upside), Gionta (19 goals for low-scoring Jersey), or Cole ( one of the league's top young power forwards) in the Blues' organization. I like Ruuttu and Sharp, too, and consider them both up-and-coming players.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubina_Fan
After all is said and done though, I think it's pretty easy to say that 3rd round picks are not generally successful. Looking at the past 10 years with 3rd round picks, the possibility of getting someone other than a 3rd-line/3rd pairing defensman are at less than 2%. It's just an absolute crap-shoot.
Yes, it is. I guess the difference here is in our definition of "success," and in the value that we place on those third-liners or third-pairing defensemen. I contend that you absolutely must draft and develop those players in your system, as opposed to trading for someone else's cast-offs and using them in those roles. Jersey in particular has done that, and been successful with that approach. And that's why I said above that the Blues keep Mayers when looking at the actual vs. possible LW lineup.

I don't really expect near impact players to come from the third round, although I have high hopes for Konstantin Barulin, Zach FitzGerald and Konstantin Zakharov, all of whom I think will be standouts for the Blues in years to come.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubina_Fan
PB, why dost thou accost me so? I was one of the posters that was hyping the Weinrich deal more than most. And I don't recall saying anything negative about Sillinger as well. I think it was a good trade for both sides involved.
I'm sorry if it seems like I'm accosting you. That wasn't my intent at all.

I'm simply refuting your statement that the Blues did little at the deadline to benefit the team. The acqusition of those two players was very key, in my mind, to the reversal of the Blues' fortunes in recent weeks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubina_Fan
As far as the Sanderson/third round pick thing goes, I know that there are other factors involved, e.g. player salary and contract length, GM affinities for one another, yadda yadda yadda. I'm just angry that it couldn't be done for whatever reason. If I'm in a position of power in the Blues front office (and I think we're all thanking God that it hasn't happened ), I'm perfectly willing to offer more than a third round pick and make sure the trading GM hears me. Joe-middling Prospect and a third round pick instead of a lower third round pick (i.e. Yancouver's)? I think the decision would be easy.
You're very probably right, and I'm becoming less and less satisfied with the Savage deal myself... but at least, the Blues still seem to have the option of reversing this deal for a minimal cost, and thus have spent little on the Savage experiment.

I'm not all that sold on Sanderson, although I will gladly concede that he's been a quality scorer in the past, and is perfectly capable of attaining similar numbers in the short-term future.

My real point, I guess, is that if the Blues had drafted some of the "not generally successful" third rounders that I pointed out, they wouldn't have needed to spend anything on Savage, or Sanderson, or anyone else. They would truly be "building from within," as successful organizations like Jersey, Ottawa and Colorado have done. All I want for the Blues is to be at that level, and I think they're well on their way to getting there.

This has been a great discussion, KF. Keep it coming. This is infinitely better than the endless whining and name-calling over at The Nut House (STL Today).

PrussianBlue


Last edited by Prussian_Blue: 03-28-2004 at 09:32 AM.
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Old
03-28-2004, 08:10 PM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrussianBlue
I did. My fault.

On the others, however, I didn't realize that the discussion was about "near impact players." I thought you mentioned third-rounders not being "generally successful," and not every player who has a successful NHL career is a near impact player.

If I misinterpreted, I apologize, but hear me out as I explain my position.

One of the big issues with the Blues is that they have too many chiefs and not enough Indians; in other words, too many impact-type players and not enough talent in the supporting cast.

If they had drafted a Weinhandl and/or a Hagman, for example, they'd be set on LW instead of having to go out and pick up a Dallas Drake as a UFA (which was, however, one of the better free agent signings the Blues have made). This is a case where a couple of third-rounders would have clearly had the chance to be near impact players (on this team, at least), as the presence of either Weinhandl or Hagman would have lessened the need to trade for Mellanby -- who has done yeoman work for the Blues, but is clearly starting to wind it down.
IMO the Blues have a fairly decent cast of 3/4 liners, most of which are cheap and home-grown. Rycroft, Sillinger, Bogunieki, Mayers, RJ, Rheaume. Even the much maligned Low is a capable 4th liner. The problem area on this team is the second line. Other than Weight(who can be a first liner when he wants) we don't have real second liner. We have Mellanby, Drake and Savage. For secondary scorers that is a fairly pathetic group. Except for Savage that group is entirely muscle.

Quote:
In any case, compare Weinhandl or Hagman to the Blues current LW corps (below Tkachuk) of Savage, Drake, Mayers and Danton. Danton was a good, low-cost pickup who has filled in well, and Mayers was a Blues draftee, so you keep him. But I'd be willing to swap Drake and Savage for any two of Weinhandl, Hagman, and Gionta... and I'd be willing to bet a lot of money that you would, too.
Just a question but when did Mayers switch to the LW? I thought we were using Rycroft as the 4th LW.

Honestly, I'm not a big fan of Wienhandl or Hagman. Hagman(to me) doesn't look much better than Rycroft. Hagman has a little speed on him but they play essentially the same game. Weinhandl is skilled but we had somebody exactly like him in Varlamov. If Varly couldn't crack this lineup(although IMO we should have at least given him a chance) what makes you think Weinhandl would?

Quote:
That's just one instance where drafting guys like that in the third round tends to negate the need for later deals. Here's another.

If they had drafted a Cole, they might not have needed to trade for Tkachuk, and gotten their power forward for one-third the price -- and kept Taffe, Handzus, Nagy and the first-round pick to boot.

Keeping Handzus and Nagy means that the Slovak Pak would have lived on, with Nagy taking Bartecko's place on the LW. Thus, no need to trade for Weight... and they'd still have Taffe as a developing center, or trade bait if needed.

The Slovak pak did not have the size to be an effective first line, especially in the PO's. As a second scoring line it would have been perfect, but what would the top line have been? You can't use a number 2 line as your primary offensive force. It never works out well.

Quote:
Yes, it is. I guess the difference here is in our definition of "success," and in the value that we place on those third-liners or third-pairing defensemen. I contend that you absolutely must draft and develop those players in your system, as opposed to trading for someone else's cast-offs and using them in those roles. Jersey in particular has done that, and been successful with that approach. And that's why I said above that the Blues keep Mayers when looking at the actual vs. possible LW lineup.

I don't really expect near impact players to come from the third round, although I have high hopes for Konstantin Barulin, Zach FitzGerald and Konstantin Zakharov, all of whom I think will be standouts for the Blues in years to come.
I agree with you on this. Success does not mean being an impact player, it means being a solid player at the NHL level. I consider guys like Bogunieki, Danton and Rycroft to be essential to a PO bound team. You absolutely cannot win in the PO's if your 3/4 lines are composed of AHL level players.



Quote:
You're very probably right, and I'm becoming less and less satisfied with the Savage deal myself... but at least, the Blues still seem to have the option of reversing this deal for a minimal cost, and thus have spent little on the Savage experiment.

I'm not all that sold on Sanderson, although I will gladly concede that he's been a quality scorer in the past, and is perfectly capable of attaining similar numbers in the short-term future.

My real point, I guess, is that if the Blues had drafted some of the "not generally successful" third rounders that I pointed out, they wouldn't have needed to spend anything on Savage, or Sanderson, or anyone else. They would truly be "building from within," as successful organizations like Jersey, Ottawa and Colorado have done. All I want for the Blues is to be at that level, and I think they're well on their way to getting there.
I disagree with your assement of Savage's influence. Since he has gotten here opposing teams have had to keep an eye on Weight's line. That, in turn, has given Demitra, Tkachuk and Cajanek more room to work in. It is a classic example of adding a scoring THREAT rather than a scorer. Savage has made opposing teams back off Weight just a little bit and our offense has come to life as a result. I'm not saying it is all atributable to Savage but he is definately a part of the increased offense of late(although I think Sillinger has had more influence on it).

Quote:
This has been a great discussion, KF. Keep it coming. This is infinitely better than the endless whining and name-calling over at The Nut House (STL Today).

PrussianBlue

AMEN. Talking to a brick wall is better than that forum.

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Old
03-28-2004, 10:20 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrussianBlue
I'm simply refuting your statement that the Blues did little at the deadline to benefit the team. The acqusition of those two players was very key, in my mind, to the reversal of the Blues' fortunes in recent weeks.

PrussianBlue
I think the schedule is the main factor in the Blues picking up more points recently. Sillinger hasn't been that bad, but those trades haven't changed this team much. This is still the same Blues team that will take a lead on the lowly Hawks and let them back into it while trying to coast. Right now, the Blues are getting some timely PP goals and that's the only other factor of note to me. The offense isn't any better than it was before and it certainly is going to be painful to watch in the 1st round. Just to support my first statement, here's the schedule since the Sillinger deal:

3/6 Win over the Islanders 4-2
3/7 Win over the Sabres 5-1
3/9 OT win over the Islanders 3-2
3/11 Tie with the Predators 1-1
3/13 Win over the Jackets 5-3
3/14 Loss to the Flames 3-0
3/16 Win over the Kings 5-3
3/17 Tie with the Ducks 1-1
3/20 Loss to the Stars 3-1
3/25 Win over the Ducks 3-2
3/27 OT win over the Hawks 4-3
3/28 Win over the Hawks 3-1

There are a couple of wins over the Islanders in what were tightly contested games against a decent team. A win over the Sabres that basically ended the slump the Sabres were in. A tie with a struggling Predators team. A win over a Jackets team that should never have been close in that game. A win over a badly struggling Kings team. A tough tough tie with the Ducks. A couple of embarrassing losses to the only good teams in the group, the Stars and Flames. A win basically from the PP over the Ducks the next time around. A poor effort that lets the Hawks back in, but the Blues pull out. Another wind due to the PP against the Hawks today. The Blues still can't put away struggling or mediocre teams like the Hawks, Ducks, or Jackets. They can't beat a strong team. I don't see much to like right now and I look forward to the 1st round with more dread than I've felt since the Keenan days. I smell an ass-whooping and I think the ol' Note is going to be on the wrong end of it.

And the reason I responded to you, PB, is that I've been highly critical of the deadline deals. More than just about anyone here I'm sure. But, those deals did not really change the team nor did it prepare the Blues for a tough playoff run. We have offensive holes, defensive holes, and a somewhat unpredictable goaltender. I guess that's to be expected from a #7 or 8 seeded team, but I don't think it's wrong to expect more to be done to address some of those holes besides Weinrich, Sillinger, and Savage.

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03-29-2004, 11:39 PM
  #24
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PB,
I think that Lappy brings up a huge point in that the winning streak has come against lesser teams. I don't think that this nescessarily negates a turn-around in offence, but the test hasn't been administered yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrussianBlue
I did. My fault.

On the others, however, I didn't realize that the discussion was about "near impact players." I thought you mentioned third-rounders not being "generally successful," and not every player who has a successful NHL career is a near impact player.
That's pretty much my bad I think. I'm using the wrong words there. Although there are a good amount of NHL-calibre players that came out of the third round, there simply aren't many that go above being just NHL-calibre a la Oleg Kvasha. Although there are many Isles fans that would disagreem Kvasha is third-line talent at best, and there are just so many third liners to go around. Granted, there are those that are incredible at it (see Detroit as much as I hate to admit it), but in reality, a Mark Rycroft could be exchanged for a Rem Murray and noone would even notice let alone care.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrussianBlue
If I misinterpreted, I apologize, but hear me out as I explain my position.

One of the big issues with the Blues is that they have too many chiefs and not enough Indians; in other words, too many impact-type players and not enough talent in the supporting cast.

If they had drafted a Weinhandl and/or a Hagman, for example, they'd be set on LW instead of having to go out and pick up a Dallas Drake as a UFA (which was, however, one of the better free agent signings the Blues have made). This is a case where a couple of third-rounders would have clearly had the chance to be near impact players (on this team, at least), as the presence of either Weinhandl or Hagman would have lessened the need to trade for Mellanby -- who has done yeoman work for the Blues, but is clearly starting to wind it down.

In any case, compare Weinhandl or Hagman to the Blues current LW corps (below Tkachuk) of Savage, Drake, Mayers and Danton. Danton was a good, low-cost pickup who has filled in well, and Mayers was a Blues draftee, so you keep him. But I'd be willing to swap Drake and Savage for any two of Weinhandl, Hagman, and Gionta... and I'd be willing to bet a lot of money that you would, too.
I don't think the "Too many chiefs and too little Indians" is the right analogy for this. I think that the tremendous gap between top-level players and supporting cast is what's killing the team. The talent is obviously there in Weight, Tkachuk, and Demitra but who else on the team besides Petr Cajanek or Mike Sillinger could even pretend to be a 2nd liner? Same goes for the back-end. Pronger is the best #1 man but then he's got Weinrich, Baron, Finley, Salvador, and Backman rounding out the rest of the defensive corps. As much as I loved the Weinrich trade, calling him a #2 isn't the best way to go through life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrussianBlue
That's just one instance where drafting guys like that in the third round tends to negate the need for later deals. Here's another.

If they had drafted a Cole, they might not have needed to trade for Tkachuk, and gotten their power forward for one-third the price -- and kept Taffe, Handzus, Nagy and the first-round pick to boot.

The Blues' third-round pick in 1998 was Matt Walker at 83rd overall, and Cole was already gone to Carolina with the 71st pick. To have a chance at Cole, the Blues would have had to take him with the 41st pick overall, which they surely should have done, in my mind, rather than take the eminently forgettable Max Linnik in that spot.
Ick. Maxim. I don't think he can even hold a regular spot in the ECHL these days.

Didn't really want to say anything else but that this kind of thing is why I support a BPA strategy when drafting (I'm sure that the need for a D-man is what drove Pleau to this one). But that's another thread altogether. :p

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrussianBlue
. . . I stand by my statement that I'd like to have Weinhandl (rumored to be involved in a Weight deal to the Islanders), Hagman (a good defensive forward with scoring upside), Gionta (19 goals for low-scoring Jersey), or Cole ( one of the league's top young power forwards) in the Blues' organization. I like Ruuttu and Sharp, too, and consider them both up-and-coming players.
Skipped a bunch of stuff because I completely agree with it. No sense in saying, "I agree," to everything you say.

I'd take Cole and give you the 3rd and 4th line for him (not that I'd actually get him). The kid is Gary Roberts all over again, something that every team absolutely needs.

As for the rest though, they just wouldn't sit well with me. I'm going to play the EGG line card right off of the bat for Gionta; most of his production has come from being paired with Elias and Gomez and I don't think his talent can overcome his size and he just doesn't have enough "*****-ness" like a Theo Fleury did. Weinhandl would be interesting, but is a severe risk. Hagman is "meh" to me, and a Ruutu and Sharp are fill-in-role players. Just MO I guess though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrussianBlue
Yes, it is. I guess the difference here is in our definition of "success," and in the value that we place on those third-liners or third-pairing defensemen. I contend that you absolutely must draft and develop those players in your system, as opposed to trading for someone else's cast-offs and using them in those roles. Jersey in particular has done that, and been successful with that approach. And that's why I said above that the Blues keep Mayers when looking at the actual vs. possible LW lineup.

I don't really expect near impact players to come from the third round, although I have high hopes for Konstantin Barulin, Zach FitzGerald and Konstantin Zakharov, all of whom I think will be standouts for the Blues in years to come.
That's the funny thing though. I actually expect one of those to be the exception my own rule, and I seriously hope it's going to be Barulin. He certainly can't be faulted for the Russians poor showing at the WJC's this year (one bad goal does not a tourney ruin) and was the biggest reason why the RE/Max CHL vs. Russian Selects games weren't 20-3 all the way through.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrussianBlue
I'm sorry if it seems like I'm accosting you. That wasn't my intent at all.

I'm simply refuting your statement that the Blues did little at the deadline to benefit the team. The acqusition of those two players was very key, in my mind, to the reversal of the Blues' fortunes in recent weeks.
Sorry, I still have trouble deciding/remembering to put smilies in.

In my defense though too, trade deadline day was a lost cause for the Blues. Again, it boils down to Savage and Ready being the only acquisitions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrussianBlue
This has been a great discussion, KF. Keep it coming. This is infinitely better than the endless whining and name-calling over at The Nut House (STL Today).

PrussianBlue
I've been reading some of the things over there. If some posters over there had there way over here, Lappy would be considered a KAG. :p

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03-30-2004, 12:08 PM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrussianBlue
This has been a great discussion, KF. Keep it coming. This is infinitely better than the endless whining and name-calling over at The Nut House (STL Today).

PrussianBlue
Hey,

I post over at the Nut house, Damn it. And I don't call people names you monkey....

My personal opinion of the trade deadline was that Pleau was going to keep the status quo. Savage addition is a joke at best (2 g so far). I was hoping for an impact move, but based on Pleau saying that we weren't going to move picks or prospects, I am led to believe that the team we have now was going to be the one in the playoffs.

In truth, I don't feel that we are an elite team, so why though away good money. If/when the Blues make the playoffs, they will put a few extra mil into the bank, remember this is still a company and needs to limit losses as much as possible.

As for lacking of scoring wing on Weights line, I think 2 things happened this year that hurt the team. One, too much pressure put on Sejna. Two Bogie spending the entire season on IR (or most of it). Those were to be the guys on Weights line. He had great chemistry w/ Bogie, but bogie never got healthy and is not out w/ a concussion. (this is something most people overlook)

Each year, we have let an impact player leave only to have his shoes filled by someone else (Young leaves Stillman steps in, Stillman leaves, and Bogie was to step in).

Now I wish Pleau had made a move to address this in Nov or Dec (after project Sejna went down). But I also think Pleau was waiting for Bogie to get healthy and show that last season wasn't a fluke. It is hard to evaluate a team when key contributors are out and you really don't know what you have as far as tallent.

We have emptied our Minor leaguer stock in the past and I think we all feel that we need to have a healthy/solid group of youngsters ready to step in.

EDIT: Savage does have 5 pts in 9 games w/ the Blues and would be on pace for a 20 goal season.


Last edited by Frenzy1: 03-30-2004 at 02:25 PM.
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