Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Having the Blues is Great

After the joy that was the 2006 NHL entry draft, I zoned out for about 10 days and didn't pay any attention to what was going on with the NHL or my own St. Louis Blues. Yesterday, I decided to catch up and see what had happened during my exile to focus on the World Cup.

All I can say is, "wow!" Boy, has a lot happened. I thought it would take Dave Checketts and his group at least 2 weeks to finalize financing and close the deal to purchase the team, but they closed it before the month was out. This meant that on 7/1, when the free agency season began, they were in full position to make some moves. The following things worthy of note have occurred:
  1. John Davidson was brought in as team president, replacing Mark Sauer. This was widely anticipated, but Mr. Davidson refused to comment on it until Dave Checketts actually owned the team. Once that hurdle was cleared, it took him about 10 seconds to sign the papers and make it happen. This is big because Mr. Davidson used to play in St. Louis (30+ years ago, but still) and the fans are excitedabout it, which is going to sell some tickets.
  2. Doug Weight resigned with the team. This was somewhat anticipated, but there was always a good chance he would stay in Carolina. I am very, very excited about this, as Doug Weight has meant a lot to the team over the years.
  3. The Blues went out and signed Bill Guerin. Let's be honest; Guerin sucked last year with Dallas. However, the Blues aren't paying him too much, and if he can regain some of his old form he will be worth the money. Besides, this means that the Blues are looking a lot like the US National team, which while not perfect, isn't a bad thing.
  4. Dan Hinote signed for way too much money. I'm not sure about this one, but at least we can say that the new ownership is willing to actually spend some money on players, which was NOT the case at all last year.
  5. Mike Kitchen was re-hired as head coach. Yes, last year was a travesty, but that was not Mike Kitchen's fault at all, since the man had nothing to work with. Some fans didn't like Kitchen, but I do, and I think this was a good move.
  6. Dallas Drake was also re-signed. The man is 100 years old, and was expected to move to another team, but he did a very hard job as team Captain last year, and signing him again was the right move by the Blues, even if just as a locker room presence and a stabilizing aspect for the younger players.

So, yeah, lots happened, and there is scuttlebutt that the Blues are pursuing Brendan Shanahan. He is 100 years like Drake is, but of all the ex-Blues out there in the league people (including myself) love Shanny the most, so signing him again would be majorly awesome. He might be too expensive, though, so I'm not holding my breath.

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