St. Louis Blues: It Is Time To Start Naming Names Now

WINNIPEG, MB - DECEMBER 7: Brayden Schenn #10 of the St. Louis Blues has words with referee Brad Watson #23 during a first period stoppage in play against the Winnipeg Jets at the Bell MTS Place on December 7, 2018 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images)
WINNIPEG, MB - DECEMBER 7: Brayden Schenn #10 of the St. Louis Blues has words with referee Brad Watson #23 during a first period stoppage in play against the Winnipeg Jets at the Bell MTS Place on December 7, 2018 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The St. Louis Blues have had issues stemming from a second half collapse in 2017-18. All signs are pointing to a highly divided locker room.

The 2018-19 season continues to fall into shambles for the St. Louis Blues. While everyone continues to search for answers, one thing is becoming more and more clear – there is a highly divided locker room and we need to know who or what is to blame.

This idea goes against everything I normally stand for. Most times I am all for keeping things in house and behind closed doors.

There are certain things that are nobody’s business and people certainly do not have a right to know about. Locker room issues are normally something best left for the guys in that locker room to sort out.

The problem is the Blues are not sorting anything out. If anything, the problems are getting worse and creating new ones.

You cannot simply say it might be the old, core players causing the issues. Like an oil spill, it might have started out small, but it is now covering everything and seems hopeless to cure. All the Dawn soap in the world might not wash off this hot mess.

So, why do fans need to know what is going on or who is to blame? The best answer is that it seems best to just get it all out in the open. There are tactful ways to discuss things without just fully airing your dirty laundry. We are not stupid and can see things going on already.

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After the uninspiring loss to Vancouver, there was clearly some sort of beef going on between Alexander Steen and Brayden Schenn. Steen told the media that the Blues were not taking advantage of every opportunity to get better.

Meanwhile, when asked his thoughts on that comment, Schenn threw it back in Steen’s court. He basically told reporters to ask Steen what that means and maybe he knew best what was wrong.

You can take the comments on face value and think Schenn was just irritated and did not want to figure out a teammate’s thoughts. Instead, it seems as though Schenn is basically implying that Steen thinks he has all the answers.

That makes one wonder whether Steen is the cause of the problem, or at least a part of it. There has been smoke on that front in the past.

Steen, according to rumors, was a driving force behind getting Ken Hitchcock fired. You can never know how much a player has influence in such things, but perhaps Steen convinced enough people to give up on Hitch.

Apparently there are rumblings that David Backes and Steen did not get along very well either. It seems odd that tidbit was only recently revealed, but it is another bit of evidence.

Add all of this to a comment made by Schenn weeks ago. Jeremy Rutherford tweeted out that Schenn said the team knows exactly what the problem is but they will keep it in house. It was heavily implied that he meant who but said what.

I understand that you do not want to ruin someone’s legacy or spoil their chances at future employment. If one player or a handful of players can have that large a negative impact, then the team has to find a way to weed them out.

Making matters worse is the fact that the two players that are the likliest culprits, Steen and Alex Pietrangelo, have no trade clauses. Yes, it is the cost of doing business these days, but it sucks.

At this juncture, unless you like them personally, it is hard to believe it is not one of them. The team’s problems have been long standing, though they have managed to get through them in the past. By now, Steen and Pietrangelo are the only ones that have been around long enough to really cause any issues.

Some fans will throw Vladimir Tarasenko in there, but I do not buy that. He has improved his all-around game this season and seems to be one of the few players that acts like he gives a damn.

Steen seems to have the personality to be more a rabble rouser.  But, he seems to actually try leading at times.

On the other hand, Pietrangelo seems to quiet to really have that much impact.  Maybe that is the problem though if there was conflict with him being handed the captaincy and having shown no leadership abilities.  I don’t personally blame Petro, but you cannot argue that the team has taken a turn for the worse with him wearing the C.

Maybe Schenn is a cause of issues. He was rather vocal about the lack of chemistry with Tarasenko last year, but it just doesn’t seem to mesh in the brain that he could go from the team’s best player in 2017-18 and then become a trouble maker. With this team, you just cannot tell.

That is why we need to know. We have passed the point of protecting anyone. If this person or persons is that bad a teammate, then why should we care about their future employment?

There is clearly something wrong with this team. Firing the coach had no impact. People are calling for the GM’s job, but I don’t know how that would have any change either. The new general manger would be stuck with the same players and the same problems. I suppose the argument is they would be bolder in making trades, but again, I don’t buy it.

Armstrong has yet to make a truly bad move. Plenty did not work out, but he has not made any bad trades, at least when they were initially judged.

He sees what is wrong and knows he has to do something. Making trades takes a partner though. At this juncture, that is the only reason to not name names. It might be harder to trade a player away if they are seen as a locker room cancer.

Something has to be done though. The team is now actually fighting with one another.

The word rebuild is being thrown around too much and that just does not make sense.  There is too much talent there to HAVE to get rid of it all. That’s why the culprit has to be identified.

Next. Chad Johnson Was Not The Backup We Were Searching For. dark

Then again, if the entire team is fragile enough to allow a single voice, or handful of voices, to completely take them out of their games, maybe they are all done for.