The St. Louis Blues kicked the tires on bringing in a future Hall of Fame player, but not much more. Almost immediately, the team also cut some up and coming players in a confusing decision.
The St. Louis Blues made some inquiries about bringing in Jaromir Jagr, but it appears to have not gained much traction. In the same breath the Blues passed on an old player, they also passed on some young ones, which makes it confusing what their plan is.
It can never be said that any fan base fully understands what is going on in the heads of those in charge of our favorite teams. Even those of us that try to say the brain trust knows better get confused with their plans at times. Today is one of those days.
The Blues have officially missed out on signing Jagr. USA Today has quoted Elliotte Friedman that Jagr will sign with the Calgary Flames.
In and of itself, that’s fine. He is 45 and you have to figure he’d slow down eventually.
The problem is the deal is reported to be worth $1 million and have an additional $1 million in bonuses available. That seems affordable.
We already went into depth about why signing Jagr was going to be difficult. Even with that in mind, it seems as though the Blues could have squeezed that $1 million in there, especially with their projected LTIR relief.
Sadly, as has become the case with all St. Louis sports teams, they rely on players returning as their key. Trusting in the team is fine, but it gets old hearing how so and so player returning is just as good as making a trade.
No it is not. You were planning on having that player to start the year, so it is just the player returning. It is not the same as a trade.
Then, once heads cool and we accept Jagr will not be wearing the note, the Blues continued to make more puzzling decisions.
According to Jeremy Rutherford, the Blues have sent Samuel Blais to the AHL.
That just does not make sense. Blais played his butt off and did everything the team asked.
He was on the second, sometimes top line, for just about every preseason game he played in. Now he gets demoted to the AHL?
You could almost stomach that decision if not for the apparent replacement. Again, Rutherford is reporting that Dmitrij Jaskin will be on the second line.
Sorry, but Jaskin has not shown enough to deserve a top-six role. Mike Yeo had nothing to do with his drafting, so this constant clinging to the hope that Jaskin will be more than a healthy scratch is infuriating.
We do need to take a step back (I’m telling myself this just as much as directing anyone else) and realize these are just practice lines. We do not know what the lineup will be for October 4.
Still, it is all quite disappointing. Sundqvist has basically done nothing. Jaskin scored two preseason goals and only one when it really counted. Thorburn was supposed to have been brought in for a few matchups during the year and might now be a consistent fourth line player.
The one positive thing is that Tage Thompson seems to have made the team unless there is a final round of cuts.
The downer is Blais. It might be restating, but it just makes one wonder what you need to do to make the team when they show you confidence to be a top-six forward, you perform and then they send you to the AHL.
The only thing that makes sense at this moment is Alexander Steen is closer to returning than not.
That’s putting a lot of eggs in one basket.
Additionally, the Blues are just throwing around shocks left and right now that their preseason games are done. The power play, which has been an issue, has a large drop off from unit one to two.
None of this is set in stone, but that is not what many outside of the organization would have done for a second unit.
Hopefully the Blues know what they are doing. Hopefully they have not damaged the confidence of a young player that had seemingly done all that was asked of him just because you have guys “ahead in line”.
We will see how it all pans out. The Jagr thing is what it is. In our hearts, we knew it was unlikely he’d show up in St. Louis. It is always disappointing when you feel the team could have actually afforded him though.
Jake Walman being sent down is fine. He needs to improve defensively.
It is just surprising that Thompson made the team and Blais did not. I’m a big fan of Thompson, but did not feel he showed well enough during camp. Clearly the staff feels differently.