So, the Blues probably won’t sign any other free agent to a contract this off-season. Fans are still waiting to see how much of a raise Vince Dunn will get. The Winter Classic has been postponed thanks to COVID-19 concerns.
It’s October 27th, and there’s no hockey.
The off-season is always unpleasant. I’m the first to admit, I’m not the best at writing filler for the hockey free months - I don’t want it to be bad filler. I don’t want people to roll their eyes at whatever random topic I pull out of nowhere.
Quite frankly, I’d rather be writing game previews and talking about hockey games, but that’s not the world in which we live right now and it, quite frankly, sucks.
As an escape during These Unusual Times or whatever we’re calling 2020, I’ve been playing video games. I haven’t picked up NHL 21 yet, but I have been futzing with some old SNES games on an emulator, and as many of you probably have, I’ve played a little NHL ‘94.
As much as I love some of the later SNES NHL games, NHL ‘94 is probably the pinnacle of that genre on the console. It was the SNES game I played the most as a kid, and it got me through missing live hockey after my family moved to metro Atlanta. I couldn’t watch the Blues, but I could still kick the crap out of the Blackhawks. It was small consolation, but it helped.
Anyway, the NHL ‘94 roster for the Blues was pretty impressive stuff. Brett Hull! Brendan Shanahan! Craig Janney! Nelson Emerson! Curtis Joseph! Jeff Brown! Garth Butcher! Rick Zombo!
Wait, Rick Zombo?
For whatever reason, I loved that guy. Weird stuff catches your attention when you’re a kid, and looking back on it, I probably thought he had a cool name. He certainly didn’t have a cool rating - it sits at a very average 46 (the defensive ratings kind of drop off after Jeff Brown, which is probably why the Blues had an overall rating of 69). He wasn’t some offensive defensive powerhouse - in 1994-1995, Zombo finished the season with a goal and four assists.
When I played as the Blues, though, few other defensemen racked up the assists like Zombo did. I will always love Al MacInnis, but Zombo was my first #2.
For whatever reason, the current hockey coach at Lindenwood was my favorite defenseman on the Blues when I was a kid.
We all have that one player that we love for completely irrational reasons. Maybe he’s not that great, but he was nice to us when we got an autograph when we were a little kid. Maybe he was the fun table at casino night one year. Maybe it’s the player that you enjoyed watching on another team, and you were thrilled that he got a cup of coffee on the Blues.
My favorite random St. Louis Blue is Rick Zombo, and I’m unashamed. Who’s yours?