Veteran leadership. Those words are bandied about quite a bit, especially in reference to a few players on the Blues that are the defacto old guys. The leaders who have about seen it all. The guys who have been in the league more than 10 years... Jackman, Walt, Sydor, and Brewer (I guess) are usually named as the guys on the team that the young Blues look to for advice and guidance, and inspiration when things are down.
Things are obviously down. The vets on the team have been leading in the practices, trying to show the kids dedication, but for whatever reason the team seems to have stagnated. What better way to light a fire under their asses than with a Brett Hull night!
Wait, what? Been done? Failed? *sigh*
This group of young Blues, though, has "foundations of the franchise" stamped all over it, and we'll remember that once they break this funk. Could seeing one of the greatest players ever to wear the jersey, even if it was the fugly one, get honored for his induction into the HHOF be an inspirational moment for them?
Hull, like him off the ice or not, was iconic in St. Louis during the 90s. You mentioned the Blues outside of the town, and the first person who came to mind was him. He was to us what Gretzky was to the Kings, and having him walk for nothing is something I'm sure that the team regrets. Very rarely do you get a player winning a Cup with 2 other teams saying "Yeah, those were nice, but I *really* wish I could have brought it to..."? Brett's still a part of the organization in some way. Look around the arena tonight and count how many Hull jerseys you see. Pull out your hockey card collections from the 90s, and count up how many Hull cards you have (mine? Is "butt ton" a number). He's going to have a statue out front - is this something for the kids to want?
To be an icon, you have to play like an icon. Last season we got glimpses of Oshie's crazed pinball-ness, Backes' grit, and Mason's skill, amongst others. This season, though, it seems stuck in the mud. Will these young kids, some not even born when Hull was traded to St. Louis, let alone when he was drafted, look at him tonight and think "God, I want that to be me one day. I want that for St. Louis and myself"?
Or, will they fulfill the stereotype of this generation (and something that I see every day) and just go "Pfft. History. Whatever. This is now."?