Wednesdays With Hildy: Is it Better To Plug Holes With AHL Kids, Or KHL Re-Treads?

Come on, Kyle. Just a few more push-ups. You can do it.

Apologies for the delay here, as the snow days here have made it quite a pain to catch up with things.

In an attempt to plug the holes left by Andy McDonald and David Perron, the Blues have had to do some creative roster moves. They've called up players from their AHL affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen. Some, like Ryan Reaves and Philips McRae are adding depth through grit, to allow players such as Brad Winchester and B.J. Crombeen a chance to move up the depth chart. While neither are second line players, Winchester and Crombeen have been serviceable in the interm. Winchester has been much more effective than we thought he would be when the Blues re-signed him in the off-season. Not that that says much, but he's managed eight goals so far this season with his expanded ice time. Have the Blues replaced McDonald and Perron? Absolutely not. Are they giving their role players a chance as well as their AHL guys? Absolutely, and why not. Vladimir Sobotka has been playing solid alongside David Backes, and Matt D'Agostini has ten goals so far this year. The Blues have tons of ancillary players of good quality.

So why add players from the KHL to the roster to flesh it out? Would Marek Svatos or Kyle Wellwood really have added anything to the roster that one of the AHL kids could have? Slightly higher point production? Sure, but possibly not by much. Svatos is five seasons removed from his fifty point campaign of 2005-2006, but is still probably good for about a quarter of that if he can stay healthy - which apparently he can't. Wellwood's good for AHL production levels or slightly higher, at best.

Of course, bringing in guys who've played in the pros before adds experience and doesn't necessitate any extra guidance in the part of the locker room guys. That could, very easily, alleviate something that some of the fellas could feel is a distraction.

So, my question for debate this week is, do the Blues use what they have in terms of AHL/role players and just rely on youth, or do they bring in experienced guys who might have similar output? Which is preferable?

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