The St. Louis Blues cannot be accused of lacking effort when it comes to seeking out good hockey minds. When they hire people though, you have to wonder if the positions are ceremonial or not.
The St. Louis Blues announced the hiring of Larry Robinson to their executive staff on Thursday. While the hire itself is perfectly fine, the title given to him seems almost made up.
The Hall of Famer has been hired as a senior consultant to hockey operations. If it is a real hire, then fantastic. The title leaves one scratching their head as to what his actual duties might be.
Bringing in someone like Robinson can be nothing but good. The guy won a total of nine Stanley Cups. You don’t get that done if you don’t know a little something about the game.
Beyond just being a great player, Robinson was a very solid coach as well. He won’t go down in the annals of hockey history as one of the best bench bosses of all time, but he won a championship there as the boss of the New Jersey Devils.
One could argue his time with the LA Kings was not great. There is no doubt of that, but other than Wayne Gretzky, Robinson did not have much to work with.
The bottom line is he knows the game. He can help people when given the opportunity.
How much of an opportunity is the question. According to the team, he will be around a few days a month. The job starts this weekend with Robinson attending the Blues preseason game on Saturday.
Will he be watching games on television? Is he just going to describe what he sees or can he give tips? If he can give tips, will he get offended if his suggestions are not implemented?
The Blues are clearly excited about the move. “He’s going to be able to share experiences,” Doug Armstrong said to Jim Thomas. “And certainly with talking to Mike, it’s something I knew about him, I love the affirmation. (I asked) would you like Larry Robinson to come in and share his ideas? and he was like a kid in a candy store, how quickly can he get here and how often can he come? It’s great that Mike wants to tap into the experience of someone like Larry.”
Again, on the surface, it sounds fine. If you can learn from a great hockey mind, you would be crazy to pass it up.
Do the styles and the philosophies mesh? There is no way to know until it happens.
From an overall standpoint, it just makes you wonder how the Blues have so many opportunities to being people in. We keep being told that almost all available money is going toward the team itself.
The flip side of the argument is the amount of former players on staff. Martin Brodeur is Assistant GM, Al MacInnis is senior advisor to the GM, Dave Taylor is VP of hockey operations and Brett Hull is also under some mysterious title with the team as well (supposedly Executive VP).
As long as all these guys are actually being utilized by the team, it’s all fine. I just don’t want the Blues to keep bringing in ex-players for the sake of it.
Hopefully Robinson will have a positive impact on the team. His knowledge could be invaluable, but it depends if it is utilized and to what degree.