By Brad Lee
Now we don't want to sound bitter about a guy we can't wait to cheer for, but T.J. Oshie's decision to go back to North Dakota totally screwed up the blueprint for the Blues forward lines this season.
When you look at the roster,Â you can instantly see where Oshie would fit in.Â Kariya, Boyes and Tkachuk seems like they were made to play together. Stempniak, McClement and Backes have as muchÂ chemistry as a line as anyone.Â For the fourth line, there's a mix of toughness, speed and grittiness with Ryan Johnson, Jamal Mayers, Dan Hinote and D.J. King. That leaves Doug Weight, his linemate Martin Rucinsky and either one of the guys from the fourth line or 19-year-old David Perron.
TheÂ rookie who was a first round pick this summer seemed to "make" the NHL squad because no one could beat him out of the spot. Perron is now three games into hisÂ pro career with six left before the team must decide to keep himÂ for the rest of the season or send him back toÂ juniors. Judging by the comments after the Tuesday night debacle vs. Phoenix,Â the prevailing logic is that Perron is pretty far from being ready to play full time.Â
Blues management may have been banking on another certain prospect making the team out of training camp and being a natural fitÂ with Weight and Rucinsky. By all accounts, Oshie is ready to make the jump to the NHL. The team was high on him after the Frozen Four and especially after having him in town for the week-long prospect camp this summer. Oshie plays a determined, hard-charging game. He cleans up around the net and out works the other team. Some have compared his game to Brian Sutter. Would that be the compliment Weight and Rucinsky are missing? Unfortunately we won't know until North Dakota's season ends at the earliest.
With Oshie still on campus, and Perron better suited for munching nachos in the press box, what's your suggestion for what to do with Weight's line? Enlighten us in the comments.