Something was missing from Tuesday's 2-0 Blues victory over the Lightning(s). Which, I must admit, was a nice game against a team many consider to be one of the best in the East (and for good reason).
When the line rushes from practice came out on Monday, Ty Rattie was listed as an extra forward. Now, given what happened Saturday (where, as you likely know, Rattie played just a shade over six minutes . . . TOTAL), this shouldn't come as a shock.
What DOES come as a shock, though, is that the team SAYS Rattie is a highly-valued prospect, yet they don't give him dick for ice time or anything to work with when he's called up and plays.
There could be reasons for it. We know Rattie isn't all that big for today's NHL, and we've heard the murmurs that he lacks the speed to stick around in the league. But we don't know (mainly because we're not all that privy to this info) if Rattie is a head case or a total dick in the locker room or if he shat in David Backes's helmet at any point in time or whatever. We can only assume these things COULD be true.
But the clock is ticking on this young man. Sure, he's only 22 now, but he does turn 23 DURING this season. Usually, if you're a highly-touted prospect, you've done SOMETHING to deserve a longer look in the show by this age. Rattie, however, keeps getting the yo-yo and the shaft in ice time.
So maybe it's time the franchise look into another option . . . giving him an opportunity elsewhere.
It seems crazy to think about, but if the franchise management and coaching staff is staying put and they don't have trust that this kid will turn into anything, it's not at all that silly to think they could cut bait with him and see what he'll net in return.
Again, he IS still in his early 20's, and it's been said that franchises shouldn't give up on a young player until they're absolutely sure he won't turn into anything, but he's not without value. What that value is, I have absolutely no idea. He was a second round draft pick a few years back . . . so maybe that?
But the franchise at large has to be frustrated either with the way Rattie has developed to this point . . . or the way the coach (and the coaching staff) has been deploying Rattie every time he's been called up. I'm not the greatest talent evaluator, but if I'm calling up one of my top prospects to a M*A*S*H Unit roster, I'd probably rather the coaches play that young man more than six and a half minutes in one game and not bench him the next.
It's difficult to read what's actually going on in this situation just because there's so much we don't actually know, because we simply don't have enough data to get a read on anything. But from this distance, it looks to be one of two things: 1) management knows Rattie will never turn out to be anything, or 2) management wants Rattie to play but the coach is trying to force management's hand with him.
Either way, I don't see this playing out well to the benefit of Rattie, at least as far as his time with the Blues is concerned.
Several youngsters have passed him on the depth chart. With his play in the AHL last year and at the early portion of this season, he has nothing left to prove at that level. It's about time he gets a legitimate shot to ply his craft in the big time, and it may just be time to let him go elsewhere and play for someone who will let him play more than six minutes a game at the NHL level, or at least do more than catch the view from the buffet line in the owner's box.
Because this shit has to be getting old. Not just for Rattie . . . but for everyone in the organization, waiting for him.