Thanks for joining me today. We'll get start momentarily
I don't think we need a setup today. Everyone knows the situation and what we're going to talk about for the next hour. The questions (and statements) are piling up, so let's get chattin ...
WHAT? You're not going to watch the All-Star game? Yeah, you're right, that's not hockey. I've got a question for you guys? With things going as they are with the Blues, don't the fans need a break too?
There's one of the statements I was telling you about.
The goal last night wasn't to get a true, end-all, be-all evaluation on Barbashev. They've got to win a game and he wouldn't even be here if not for the Brodziak injury. Yeah, they'd like to see where he's at and how he can help him, but it was his first NHL game. I get the argument about putting him in a position to succeed ... 15 minutes of icetime with Tarasenko. But is going into the night with that intention really putting the Blues in a position to succeed. I don't think so. They'll have plenty of time to get a better read on him.
I did talk to him for a few minutes without a recorder. He's doing OK, just really frustrated with the situation. He understands he needs to be a lot better and if he could figure out why things are going the way they are, he'd change it quickly. But he said once or twice that he NEVER been in a situation like this and so he's trying to fight his way through it. I think we all have to understand, too, that the Blues' problems are more than just in goal. Yeah, he's let some tough ones in, but even if Allen was playing pretty well, this team would still have some serious issues in my opinion.
Teams always explore first. Rattie has been around for a while, so Armstrong certainly knew the market with him, whether there was any interest. I was told, not by Armstrong, that there wasn't. I'm not so sure that the Blues were losing sleep over the possibility of losing him to waivers. In Hunt's case, again teams always explore the market before waivers, but I think they would have really liked to get him through. They knew it was a risk, and I think they felt it was worth it because they've got good young defensive depth. You have to remember one thing about trying to trade a guy going on waivers soon: other teams aren't stupid. They're not going to give you anything for him when they no they can get him for nothing if they wait a few days.
With all due respect to Reaves, who has really really improved his all-around game, he is no Wayne Simmonds. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I think you could put Reaves with Simmonds linemates and get 20-30 goals.
The last I read in the Post-Dispatch was that the issue was tabled. But with the STL Board of Alderman, they're like the weather ... give it 10 minutes and that could change.
Tampa has been at a lot of Blues games, so it always seems like a possibility that something is up between those teams. But the Lightning have to figure out what they're doing. They're 3-5-2 in their last 10 and they're six points out of a playoff spot. I'm sure they'd like to unload a goal (Bishop), but if Shattenkirk isn't signing an extension, I don't know if they want to give up anything to get him as rental if they're not going to make the playoffs. It seems like they would wait until closer to the deadline.
IF I TOLD MY WIFE that I was going to a Blues event on a night off, I don't even want to think about it ...
I would build a wall around the Blues net.
Only three shots, but you're right. What does everyone think about him going into the game in that situation? It worked out I guess, but the Blues were looking miserable and if Jake gives up a couple, wow!
I've heard all the rumors, but I don't see any situation where Armstrong makes a splash this year. He may make a trade or two or three, but by splash I mean bringing in a big name to help this season. It's crystal clear in my mind that they're are making decisions based on building for the future. So they may trade Shattenkirk, Berglund, etc., but my guess is that it would be for prospects and picks and to clear salary.
I'm not in the room so it's tough for me to answer. Some of us watched the "Road to the Winter Classic" where he said stuff like "Let's go boys," yada, yada, yada. But you're talking about one or two clips, so who knows what he's like on a regular basis. I've talked to players over the years who will tell you that he's usually barking about something. So I think if I asked them whether Hitch ever left them along, they would laugh.
I think as a rental, Shattenkirk gets you a pretty good prospect. As a sign and trade, I think Shattenkirk alone doesn't get you the established player you're hoping for. A good player, but not a great one. No. 1, teams are going to have pay him pretty well and if you're going to do that, why give up assets too when you can just sign him in the offseason? Now if you have a sign and trade and you package Shattenkirk with a prospect or whatever, then maybe that's a way to get a more well-know, established player.
I would never rule it out. However, as I've said in the past, I truly think Armstrong wants to stick to his guns and let Yeo have the year to prepare himself for 2017-18. Could the Blues at some point be thinking to themselves that if they fire Hitchcock and put Yeo in charge, they could take off like the Penguins did? Sure. But think about what we've been talking about the last 30 minutes. If they don't win some games and stay in the race, they will be likely be moving a few pieces at the deadline. To me it doesn't make much sense to put Yeo next week, for example, and then trade Shattenkirk, Berglund, etc. and then he doesn't have as good of a team. You're setting yourself up for a situation where your future coach ends the year on a sour note and there's not as much optimism going into next year. That's just my take.
Schwartz has played center a few times and been OK. He likes the wing and I think the team needs him on the wing. Sure they could use him at center, but then Lehtera goes to the wing and doesn't help much there either, so it really doesn't make a difference. You know what I'm saying ... it's still the same personnel and I don't think Schwartz in the middle makes them a better team necessarily.
I have no clue. If you're not renovating Scottrade, you're not taking money out of the owner's pockets, you're hurting the city.
There really isn't anybody. I suppose Reaves tries to keep things loose, but that's about it. You're right, Ott was a rare bird and really brought that element to the room. I don't think the Blues have replaced that. I know it's tough when you're not winning. Even if they had Ott right now, there's not a lot he could do to cheer people up, but I sure know he would be trying.
I really think it's a combination of both. I've heard from within the organization that Fabbri looks like the best player on the ice on some nights and like he should be back in junior hockey other nights. So he's been inconsistent. But they have moved him around a lot, and that's had to have had an effect on him.
It's called "We over-value our players." Hunt hasn't played one game with Nashville, not one. If Armstrong put the word out that he was available, which I'm guessing he did, there were likely crickets buzzing at the other end. Again, teams know he's going on waivers, so why give up something for him. Even if the Blues got something, what would it be? A five-round pick? Does that help you? Look I liked what Brad Hunt did with the Blues. But he's an undersized D man who has played 30 games in the NHL. I don't think you can look at that situation and say that Army was sleeping.
It is an option. Will the Blues do it? I don't personally see that happening, but who knows. I think they'll want to take a look at him after the break and see where's at. Hitch told me that he would have been ready to start Thursday in Minnesota if they would've called on him. Of course they said that the week before, too, so who knows. The Blues have a lot games coming up and Hutton can't play them all. I don't think they want to run with Hutton and Copley and allow Allen to play in Chicago. If Allen comes back and shows that he's still not ready, they have to do whatever it takes, but right now I don't see that happening.