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Is this real? June 23, 2009

Posted by bluesfan45 in Offseason, Transactions.
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So I am doing my nightly jog through the hockey world online after the kiddo goes to bed and come across this?!

A HF Boards thread showing a Twiter link to Bob McKenzie from TSN???

Linking to this Twitter page???

The Blues have to be considered the favourites for Heatley. Their current package is believed to contain Boyes, Perron and possibly Brewer.
about 13 hours ago from web

I really don’t know where to start with this.

This would potentially work from a money stand point. As moving Brewer and Boyes would clear out $8.25mil in cap hits for 09-10, 10-11 and $4mil in 11-12. This would in theory give you money to keep Backes, Oshie, and Berglund.

However, I would think this would have to work on the assumption that the Blues feel that Eller, Sonne, or Palushaj would be ready now and be an impact player now.

So pushing logic aside for a moment, is that even really Bob McKenzie?! IS that Twitter account real? We all know what LaRussa did with Twitter…

Dredger is on Twitter and its on the TSN.ca site, but where is McKenzie’s if this is real?

Calling more BS.


Eklund says Blues want Heatley done by Wednesday? June 22, 2009

Posted by bluesfan45 in Offseason, Transactions.
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As Reported on Hockeybuzz today…

Eklund advises the hockey world that the Blues want to have a deal done to get Heatley to St. Louis by Wednesday, two days before the draft.

I think we need a few grains of salt, a lemon wedge, and some good tequila to analyze that one.

AS we talked about here and many other sites have discussed, Heatley to St. Louis is very hard to imagine. While the Blues have the desire for a top flight player, can they truly afford him with out giving up Brad Boyes (which defeats teh purpose of getting Heatley) and if they can, which young stars do we lose?

Perron? Berglund? Oshie? Pietrangelo? Eller? Backes?

Who is traded now and/or later? Who cannot be re-signed?

It’s a this point I really hope that the front office politely says “no”.  No to thinning out our NHL level depth. No to moving out a young core member. No to tying up roughly 12-15% of the Blues cap hits in one player.

I know teams want to get that name power. You want that guy to drum up media support, to sell tickets, to sell jerseys. At the same time, this isn’t your dad’s NHL anymore. This is not so much a veterans game. This league is dominated by 3 players who have all gained the right to buy alcohol in the last 12 months. It is a young-man’s game now.

This is where the Blues can differ from other teams. Push away the old status quo and really stck with their kids. Will it be hard to keep your home grown talent when you could haeve offer sheets and high priced offers. However, at the same time the Blues have to believe that they can develop their rebuilt core and keep them around. With the cap going down  (for at least the next two years it looks like), you need to be able to control your contracts. The Blues will get great control over their group.

The young core of this team is as follows (argueably):
TJ Oshie
Patrik Berglund
Erik Johnson
David Perron
David Backes
Brad Boyes
Alex Pietrangelo
Jay McClement
Roman Polak
All of these players are under contract for at least 2 more years or will be RFA’s in that time period.

The current roster situation gives you a large amount of control over how much your core makes, allowing you to spend elsewhere. However, that control doesn’t mean you add a $7.5mil cap hit.

THe Blues have a chance to say “we have our core, we arent moving them and in the long term interest of this organization, we are going to retain these players”. How many teams will be able to do this? Not many. Edmonton  might. Phoenix has no money to begin with. Chicago has spent a ton (Campbell) and are going to have MAJOR cap issues retaining Kane, Toews, and Versteeg down the road.

By saying no, the Blues have the chance to do what few teams can do, kep their most important long term peices while they are still contributing now. Heatley all but kills that chance. The time is not now. The Blues got in to the Playoffs minus a top 3 forward and a top pairing Dman, lets see what Kariya and EJ give us first. Save the money now to dabble at the deadline if you want to add a body.

What the Blues can learn from Hossa and the Penguins June 15, 2009

Posted by bluesfan45 in Uncategorized.
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Let’s take a short trip back in time to June 9th, 2009. Various Websites and Hockeybuzz.com Blogger Peter Tessier, break news of Dany Heatley asking to be traded out of Ottawa. While Ottawa brass has said that Heatley wouldn’t be moved around the deadline, it appears now Dany wants out no matter what the Front Office wants.

Enter the St. Louis Blues. Where the front office has said they would like to pursue a scoring winger. Who has also said they see the time drawing near to add players now and trade some of the prospect pool.

Initially fans are for it, some are against it. I was for it, till I was able to give it more thought. I came to this conclusion while watching my second favorite team play, the Pittsburgh Penguins. My conclusion was that the Blues trading for Heatley amounted to the same as the Penguins trying to re-sign Marian Hossa last summer. At the time, Pens fans were upset with their rental hero not returning. Likely rightfully so. However, not signing Hossa has given the Pens more wiggle room in the check book to secure depth for the short and near terms.

How do Heatley and Hossa compare?
Both have over 100 point total seasons.
Both are big bodied forwards who can score 40+ goals in an season.
Both have deep playoff run experience, not much, but some.
Both are game changers, able to take a game over and lead a team to a win.
Both wanted or make over $7 million a year in Salary and are over $7mil in cap hits.

Why are the Blues like the Pens?
Both have a talented young core of players who will need to be re-signed soon.
Both have some financial issues. Blues in terms of money coming in and the Pens in terms of cap space.
Both teams have built through the draft and acted accordingly to develop players internally.

Here is a brief list of the moves that may not have been possible (now or later)  if the Pens kept Hossa.
Re-signing Brook Orpik
Signing Jordan Staal to his first big contract
Trading for Bill Guerin
Re-signing Guerin, Fedotenko, and Scuderi, Goligoski
Re-signing Kris Letang or Sergi Gonchar
Signing Luca Caputi or Eric Tangradi to their first big contracts.

Most of those players played major parts of the 2009 Cup Run and the two that didnt, will factor in in to longer term offensive winger depth. In short the Penguins forking $7mil + to Hossa loses them their shut down center who can score 25-30 goals, a veteran forward to help Sid and several key depth players.

What do the Blues have to lose to get Heatley?

2009 1st Rd. Pick
NHL level player
NHL ready prospect
– Something along those lines get him here. What about after that?
Choosingbetween EJ and Colaiacovo in the 2010 off season.
David Perron potentially in a trade.
Ability to re-sign David Backes / Brad Boyes
Reduced money to offer core players like Oshie and Berglund
Reduced funds to add UFA/traded for player additions in later seasons

Is the cost in assets worth the gain in this case? Is adding a potential 100 point winger worth losing 3 young players now (prospect, NHL level player and the 1st rd pick) plus making it harder to re-sign needed depth players. Given the Blues current level of financial stability, it won’t work. There are too many questions about money coming in to the team during economic downturn. With the cap likely shrinking, teams must have young players they can count on to offer cheap production. Adding Heately right now hampers that effort.

I am not saying the Blues will win the Cup because they didn’t get Heatley because of the Pens situation. I am stating that the Pens made the better long term decision and still found short term filler. The Blues need to remain focused on the long term as the short term is starting to take care of itsself with the players we have. Could the Blues add to the mix, to help the short term. Sure, there are many capable players out there who can improve the blue line, provide scoring depth up front, and be a solid back up. Its up to the Pro Scouting Department to evaluate who is out there along with JD, Al, and Dave to figure out who will fit in a the right price. So far the Front Office has done a good job, I don’t think there is a reason to not trust them yet.

So take a chapter from Ray Shero, JD and Larry. Entertain the thought, but secure who you already have first. Once that is done, then go looking for the key piece who can be around a while.