By Sean Gallagher
In aÂ "scandal" that has alternately been called mean, ridiculous, stupid and unintentional, St. Louis' hockey buzz expert, media multitasker and sometime-employee of the team he is paid to report on objectively, Andy Strickland created a perfect storm of rumors, speculation, pants-wetting anxiety and general chaos among the fans of the Blues on Wednesday.
Strickland, best known for his radio work and his blog work on a national hockey rumors website, started a maelstrom when he posted that he would be announcing "big news" on his radio show later that day. In the ensuing hours, Blues fans everywhere went collectively nuts.
Included in the rumors were implications that Peter "broken hoof" Forsberg had been signed by the team, that Barret Jackman, Bryce Salvador and/or Christian Backman had been traded and that the Blues had been sold to a new ownership group based in Saskatoon. OK, we made up that last one, but given the fervor of the threads that were created at the STLtoday site, we are pretty confident that if we'd floated that one out there, people would have believed it.
Hell, even guys on local rock radio guys were confirming deals that hadn't happened.
Unfortunately, when the rubber hit the road and Strickland's radio show started, he related that his "big news" was only big when considering the size of the human who was at the center of the story. Matt Walker, one of this blog's favorite players, by the way, had asked for a trade.
It remains to be seen how the requested trade of a 7th defenseman could possibly be construed as big news, the announcement itself touched off an even bigger wave of Blues webjunkies going crazy. The aftermath of the threads was that while no one actually went and got pitchforks and torches to go find Strickland, the masses did the virtual world's equivalent, even opening threads questioning Strickland's intelligence quotient.
Whether you were sucked in by the hype, enjoyed the madness of the posting, felt betrayed by the "big news", leapt to defend StricklandÂ or were simply saddened that Matt Walker might actually get traded, you have to admit, it did bring to light just how crazy people get for this team now that the ship if finally getting headed in the right direction.
As for us, our favorite part was when the "DJ King and his Condo" blog posted a seeming hint at the rumors, which was quickly picked up by a poster and listed as "I talk to a Blues player occasionallyÂ and he said...."
Holy shit, do we love the internets.