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Jori Lehtera: The gift that stopped giving in 2014

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

What kind of career would Brett Hull have had in St. Louis if he was paired with Jori “fucking worthless” Lehtera for all those years? These are the things that I think about with Lehtera and his negative impact on the current scoring superstar for the Blues; Vladimir Tarasenko. Lehtera is an anchor on the team, and that’s not in a good way.

One of the reasons I have turned on Doug Armstrong is his insistence on giving contract extensions when he doesn’t necessarily have to. As new STLGT No Bullshit dispenser Randall Ritchey pointed out in his debut article yesterday, Lehtera didn’t deserve an extension after three decent months of play back in 2014.

Lehtera was given a three year extension in July of 2015, and it came after a 44 point debut season that cooled off after a hot start. I like a +21 as much as the balded beard guy, but that doesn’t mean he gets a three year extension. It’s bad management, and has stricken the legacy of Armstrong’s work in St. Louis while leading to his eventual (Please!) demise.

Since January 1, 2015, Lehtera has produced 79 points in 155 games for the St. Louis Blues. What in the ass? How Lehtera was allowed to continue playing with Tarasenko under Ken Hitchcock for so long will baffle me for the next 20 years. It made zero sense to place a human glacier in Lehtera with a superstar in Tarasenko? Every time Mike Yeo decides to revert back to the STL line, he will lose credibility here because it makes absolutely zero fucking sense.

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Chicago Blackhawks
Look at Lehtera’s electrifying defense...
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Lehtera’s 2016-17 season is going as smoothly as the Bay of Pigs saga. He has given the Blues 19 points in 57 games, which is the equivalent of a 38 year old one legged toothless asshat skating around during a publicity stunt aka final season with a team he’s given 15 years to. In other words, Lehtera’s production simply isn’t acceptable. He can’t even give the Blues a third line center serving of goals and assists.

Lehtera doesn’t give you much on defense, and usually is the last guy to enter the zone on offense. He’s like the fat kid who gets to the school yard last before the rest of his friends, because he hit every hot dog stand on the way there. Lehtera is the epitome of the little engine that could, but didn’t.

Guess what? This show is open for two more years after this season, so go out and buy your Lehtera threads. After making $4.4 million this season, the salary of this overrated batch of useless hikes up to $4.7 and $5 million in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Imagine Bill Pullman climbing on top of the car in Independence Day and screaming, “We will not go quietly into the night...” before looking at Lehtera, Jay Bouwmeester, and Patrik Berglund as the saviors. He’d drop the mic, turn around, and go hide in a cave somewhere.

You don’t win Stanley Cups when you hand unneeded big contracts to aging defensemen or third line contributors. Those are the moves that have marked Armstrong’s tumbling the past few seasons.

Jori Lehtera isn’t a terrible NHL player, but he’s overpaid and hinders the Blues more than any other player. You can make a case for Bouwmeester and Berglund, but you can’t make on for this Finland skater.

Just imagine if he played a few years with Brett Hull. Ouch.