The St. Louis Blues signed an extra defenseman prior to the season, knowing they were not going to be healthy for a quarter of the season. They had to also know that signing was not likely to stay.
When the St. Louis Blues originally signed Nate Prosser, there were quite a few protests from Blues fans. Was it just because the team had some health issues? Or, was it because Mike Yeo wanted to bring in some of his old players?
Blues fans were desperately hoping it would not be the latter. They had suffered through enough of that with the Mike Keenan era. Nevertheless, it still raised eyebrows when a player that Yeo had coached since his AHL days was brought in.
In the end, it was mainly due to the team’s health. Prosser only featured in one regular season game for the Blues.
Prosser played 15:23 in that one game and did not record a point. It will not necessarily be a memorable experience for him, but you cannot say that he was not a consummate professional.
Prosser showed up to the rink, did his job and never complained. As a nine year NHL player, you know it had to be eating him up inside to practice but never play.
You never heard so much as a peep about any discontent though. In today’s social media age, that’s almost unheard of.
Now, the day he and many knew would come has passed. The Blues put him on waivers now that Patrik Berglund is healthy.
However, it does not feel as though they did it with the intention of sending him to the minors. Mike Yeo is probably on the phone calling teams, hoping this guy gets a job somewhere.
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Obviously, he would prefer it be an Eastern Conference team. Still, Yeo was a little torn up by the fact that he had to release his friend.
“It’s tough for me,” Yeo said in a Post-Dispatch article. “I’ve been with Pross since we both started in Houston together. So I love the kid. He’s a phenomenal personality and a great player. But obviously we’ve got a large number of quality defensemen here and couldn’t keep ’em all.”
"“He comes to the rink with a smile on his face every day regardless of his own situation,” Yeo said. “So ultimate team guy. Obviously he only played the one game for us but it was never because we didn’t have confidence in him. It was just a matter of the other guys were doing such a good job.”"
The plus side of this situation is it proves that Yeo is capable of not playing favorites. We’ve seen past players get held back because the coach had a connection to this player or that. Yeo saw that guys like Vince Dunn deserved it and would not stand in their way.
St. Louis is not missing out on a fantastic talent with Prosser. Through his career, he has typically been a third-pairing defenseman.
That’s not a knock on him, just stating the truth. His career high in points is 12.
Even so, hopefully he can land somewhere beyond the AHL. It’s hard to find guys that are not going to whine and complain about sitting even one game, let alone 23.
This parting of the ways was always going to happen. At this point, it almost seems merciful though. We wish the best to Prosser…unless he gets picked up by Chicago or Nashville. Then all bets are off.