CLAIBORNE: Let The Fire Sale Begin
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Well, here we are. Another season in what Blues fans have
come to look forward to. No, not the Stanley Cup Finals or
some exciting rounds leading up to the Finals. Blues fans
are accustomed to two times of the year when excitement
was in play.
July 1, the start of the free agency period,
where the Blues used to make a splash with the signing
memorable players who have worn the Blue Note — both good and
not so good. The other time of the year is the time leading
up to the trade deadline.
In the past, one could only hope the Blues would land that
key defenseman, goal scorer, or that one guy that would be
that “glue in the room” to get the Blues to the promised land.
Recently, that has changed as the Blues have elected to be
sellers and provide other teams with players who have a
chance to get their names on the Cup. In return, the Blues
would receive an additional draft pick that would be worse
than their own — and some prospect that a team has given up
on. This year is no different.
The Blues got things started by unloading their captain, Eric
Brewer. For some fans, Brewer was hard to accept as he was the
main guy in the Chris Pronger giveaway. You may remember
Pronger. Brewer was in a tough spot because everyone
expected him to be a player similar to the former Norris
Trophy Winner and MVP — not to mention
Stanley Cup winner. With that said, it never worked and
Brewer paid dearly with, at times, undo critcism.
In return the Blues got some draft choices and a defensive prospect.
Defensive? If there is one thing the Blues could use more
of is scoring. Instead they settle on a guy who could
potentially be a third-line checker. Who knows, he is a
St. Louis went on to unload the guy who was supposed to make
us forget about Chris Pronger in Erik Johnson. He was
shipped off to Colorado for a promising goal scorer and a
another defenseman who is supposed to be offensive minded.
OK, I get it. Here is what else I will get and it will be
the traditional lines of “ we are now younger”, “It
helps us in the future” and “we were lucky to land
these real prospects.” Pick a year and someone from the
Blues has said one if not all of those lines and then some.
As for the fans, someone will think the Blues will be better
and the goal scorer could someday be Hull-like? Stop IT!
Another year of a fire sale is underway for the St. Louis
Blues. Another year of disappointent, another year of
excuses (some warranted) and another year of “Wait til
next year.” Why do I all of a sudden feel like a Chicago
Cub fan? Remember, Blues fans: this year’s slogan was
“Whatever it takes.” One question… to do what?
With all that said, I think Doug Armstrong may know what he is
doing here. None of the players he moved were players he
was involved in drafting or trading for. He is a solid
hockey man who only needs upper management and ownership to
let he and Davis Payne do their jobs… and prevent another
season of excuses that have worn on the faithful.
Mike Claiborne hosts “The Sports Hub” weeknights from 9p-12a on KMOX.