Hey, August is almost over! Single game tickets are on sale, Fanfest and the opening of training camp are a few weeks away. It's a little colder at night. The summer that would never end is almost over. Let's figure out where we are on the Blues' schedule for the offseason.
Draft: Pick a young defenseman in the first round. CHECK.
Fee agency: Get a backup goaltender and some guys for depth in Peoria. CHECK and CHECK.
Rest of summer: Keep guys out of trouble and away from golf carts. CHECK (so far).
TV commercial: Debut something that's not a bad idea but maybe misses the mark. Unfortunately, CHECK.
Let's break down the text from Blues team president and soon to be Hockey HOFer John Davidson:
My mission when I came here was to win the Stanley Cup.
Sure, that's fine to say now. But I think your immediate mission when you were hired in the spring of 2006 was to get this team out of the basement, rebuild the talent base and give the franchise a few shreds of hope. To that sir, mission accomplished. Of course the war to build a team that wins in the playoffs is still being waged.
But we were missing a lot of pieces of the puzzle.
Wait, you mean Radek Dvorak wasn't a piece? And neither was Peter Sejna? Shocking. That first full year under Davidson these guys suited up: Ville Nieminen, Petr Cajanek, Glen Metropolit, Mike Glumac and Jamie Rivers. Totally agree, they were missing a shit ton of pieces.
We needed veteran leaders and young talent. We needed strong goaltending. We needed excitement. And we needed star power.
Interesting. Kind of describes the optimal team, what you strive to build in the offseason. But I'm not sure if this current squad getting ready for training camp has all of those ingredients.
We've got all of these pieces.
Wow. Hey JD, way to set expectations at a reasonable level. I know making that incredible run in the spring and making the playoffs for the first time since Bill Laurie cared about the Blues was thrilling. But to say you have all the groceries you listed in your recipe is a little much.
You could argue that there are no new veterans on the team, but they've subtracted some with the jettisoning of Jay McKee and Manny Legace. Young talent, they've got it. And then some. Chris Mason was a helluva goaltender since the beginning of February. Can he reproduce that over a full season and into the playoffs, we'll see. Excitement? Link that to the young talent. But star power? Sure T.J. Oshie is making waves outside of St. Louis. And the U.S. Olympic team is noticing David Backes well after we did. For a team that did very little in the offseason to improve other than a backup goaltender and a few players getting healthy after injuries, it's hard to believe management is saying they have all the pieces of the puzzle.
This is a team that is coming out of a transition, dumping the old and growing with the new. They showed how dangerous they can be while at the same time illustrating the young players need to grow and mature. Getting mentioned in the discussion about Stanley Cup contenders is coming, but I don't think it's started yet.
And basically saying this is the team you've been planning for while the Western Conference remains so competitive is a dangerous sales pitch to a still fickle fanbase during an uncertain economy.
Now the last piece of the puzzle is you. Be a part of it now.
No, a defenseman who can play the point on the power play and lead the breakout is still a piece I think they're looking for (besides Erik Johnson).
I don't have thin skin, but doesn't that ignore all the people who stuck with the team during the last place finish, the seasons without playoffs and the ones already in the building as this team came together? I know the diehard fans get get taken for granted, but I'd like to think I'm a bigger piece of the puzzle than some new customer looking to find a winner to hang on to.
Eh. It's better than that damn Blue Revolution crap they shoved down our throats three years ago. Oh Mr. Pencil Thin Beard who was the leader of the fake Blue Revolution, where have you gone? And the owner and players aren't begging fans to come back like two years ago. So I guess that means this is an improvement, right?
Tell me what you think down below.
And yes it's a sign that nothing is going on right now when I break a commercial down line by line.