First of all, +1 if you know the title reference.
As we all know the STLBlues camp is underway, and Preseason is right around the corner. The Blues have said they want to go into the 11-12 season with a 23 man active roster. The team has 12 forwards and 5 D-men and 1 Goalie on 1 way contracts. 2 more D-men who are slated to start on the NHL roster are Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk (both on 2-way Entry Level contracts). So that leaves 2 forward and 1 goalie to be determined in camp. Lets take a closer look at the poeple who are fighting for those 2 open spots at forward.
Jonathan Cheechoo, Phil McRae, Evgeni Grachev, Chris Porter, and Ryan Reaves are among the most talked about prospects/players. While i do think that whoever performs better in camp will get a shot, i also thing "team need" is a big factor. If you look at these 5 players you have 5 different types of players.
Cheechoo - Sniper
Put away shot after shot at the beginning of drills in camp and looks to be a force their year no matter what level he plays at. Looking to prove himself after a few years of slump after a 50-goal year in the NHL
McRae - Playmaker
Shined at the Traverse City Tournament and looks to be conditioned well after an impressive performance in the Beep tests the first day of camp.
Grachev - Power Forward
Looking for a fresh Start with a new organization after a draft time 3rd round trade to the Blues from the Rangers. Shoots well, has a big body and uses it well around the boards
Porter - 2-way Forward
Gritty forward that is looking to stick around after extended exposure last season with minimal success.
Reaves - Tough Guy
Looking to be a force for the blues and fulfill the Enforcer role this season.
You have 5 different types of players that are battling for 2 spots. Each player is trying to establish their niche in the NHL for the first time, or in some cases again after previous success. Also, not to be discounted. are the less talked about prospects that also have a chance of making the blues roster.
Stefan Della Rovere, Adam Cracknell, and TJ Hensick are among them.
While these 3 are not "in the running" as far as the fans are concerned, but the coaches are certainty watching them and considering them for the jobs.
My personal thoughts and instincts lead me to think that Grachev and Cheechoo will be the 2 that make the roster at the start of the 11-12 season. Take a look at the enclosed poll and pick who you think will make it.
We also have a battle for the Backup Goaltender position between Bishop and Elliot. More on this later.
Thanks for the reading, Lets go Blues!