St. Louis Blues: Is Ryan O’Reilly Worthy Of The “C”?

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 6: Ryan O'Reilly #90 of the St. Louis Blues before the game against the Chicago Blackhawks at Enterprise Center on October 6, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 6: Ryan O'Reilly #90 of the St. Louis Blues before the game against the Chicago Blackhawks at Enterprise Center on October 6, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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The St. Louis Blues are struggling this season to find consistency. Doug Armstrong says his “core” group of players are on thin ice. Who could become the next leader of the Blues? My answer: Ryan O’Reilly.

Ryan O’Reilly has made a huge impact on the St. Louis Blues in many aspects of the game. His faceoff percentage is unreal, his work ethic on and off the ice is out of this world and he is straightforward and honest in interviews.

The St. Louis Blues made a trade for Ryan O’Reilly this past offseason giving up former Blues players Tage Thompson, Vladimir Sobotka and Patrik Berglund along with two draft picks.

When the trade got announced fans were in awe of what Doug Armstrong was able to pull off. O’Reilly is the elite center that the Blues had been searching for since the departure of David Backes.

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Fast forward, 33 games into the season, O’Reilly has been the ONLY constant on the St. Louis Blues roster.

He is a machine on the faceoff dot, doesn’t lose many draws and is absolutely an elite center in the NHL.

O’Reilly also gets to the dirty areas of the ice on the forecheck and doesn’t lose many one-on-one battles that are oh so important in today’s game.

Why does this all matter? Alex Pietrangelo‘s position as captain on this team could be in jeopardy. Rumor has it that there have been some problems occurring in the locker room and Doug Armstrong has said himself that his patience is thin with the leadership of this team.

Pietrangelo has been part of the “core” group of guys that are still left with the St. Louis Blues. Pietrangelo was named captain before the 2016-2017 season. He has been labeled soft at times and his play this season is mediocre at best.

Now, this should go without saying that Pietrangelo is an outstanding defenseman and has been in the Norris trophy running for the past couple of seasons.

Obviously, Pietrangelo is a vital part of the St. Louis Blues and I do believe trading him away would be a huge mistake.

O’Reilly’s work ethic, preparation, and knowledge of the game are three main qualities I look for in a leader. O’Reilly would make an excellent captain and should at a minimum if he is not already become a major voice in the locker room.

Next. St. Louis Blues Don’t Need Rebuild Or To Blow It Up. dark

This team needs a major shakeup whether it be a roster move or shuffling around the leaders of the team. Something has got to change and it needs to change quickly before it’s too late.