It has been a long night and it is still early. We have been waiting for this news all day, all week, all month and all season. Like a young kid waiting for Christmas morning I had a feeling that nothing was going to live up to my expectations.
It wasn’t supposed to go like this. After last year’s playoff run things were not supposed to turn out this way. Right now the Blues should be loading up for another deep playoff run but instead even their general manager is throwing in the towel.
As I sat there constantly refreshing my twitter feed the same thought kept going through my head. “I can’t believe Kevin Shattenkirk is never going to play for the Blues again”.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the business of sports. I understand that it was not in the best interest of both parties involved for Shattenkirk to remain a Blue but even still, I got to say, I am going to miss that guy.
I loved his moxie and his swagger. I loved his attitude both on and off the ice. I loved his bald head.
But no matter how I felt, in a few moments, I was gong to find out just how much Kevin Shattenkirk was worth to the Washington Capitals.
I decided to give my phone a rest. The deal was already done and no amount of refreshing was going to make the rest of the news come any faster.
I sat and I thought. I thought about how things should have been. I thought about what it would be like if there was a competent person running this organization.
Doug Armstrong should have never allowed things to get this far out of hand. You will never get me to believe that the price for Kevin Shattenkirk was ever going to be as high as it was before the season started.
Not only that but it was quit obvious to everyone but him that the Blues were not the same caliber team that they were last season. They needed help. They needed something that could not be found from within.
But instead Armstrong felt this team was good enough and he let his best friend talk him into giving him one last go-round.
The Blues were a fast team that didn't have any speed. They were a small team that still wanted to play a heavy game. They were lost with no one to guide them.
All the while Armstrong sat there with one of the most coveted players in the 2016-17 season and did nothing with him until it was almost too late.
Armstrong had backed himself into a corner and now we are about to pay the price.
A 2017 1st rounder, a conditional pick that no one understands and forward Zach Sanford. The Blues also have to retain some of Shattenkirk’s salary.
Truth be told it was pretty much exactly what I was expecting. A couple of picks and a decent prospect. And considering that Shattenkirk is probably not quite the top defenseman that everyone thinks he is, I would say that it was fair.
But that doesn’t stop me from wondering what could have been.
Could the Blues have had a line with Jonathan Drouin or Taylor Hall on it. Could they be competing for a conference title instead of fighting for a wild card spot.
But in the end none of that matters. Doug Armstrong has made his bed and we are now forced to lay in it.
This year the Blues will have a low first round pick in a weak draft, maybe a pick two years later and some guy that aspires to play on the third line. All from the brilliant mind that brought you Ryan Miler and Steve Ott.
I think what hurts the most is the Blues are finally admitting that the season is over and a rebuild is in full swing. Better luck next year Blues fans.
Kevin Shattenkirk was a great part of the St. Louis Blues. I only wish Doug Armstrong was too.