Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Thoughts on the Blues' Deadline Deals

When they announced on Monday that the team had signed Barrett Jackman to a new four-year deal, I knew that Sal's days were numbered. Both Jackman and Bryce Salvador were goint to be unrestricted free agents in the off-season, and with all of the young defensemen in the farm system, only one of them was going to be retained. I personally wanted the team to retain Salvador and dump Jackman, because my own viewings of the team's performance led me to believe that Salvador was the more consistent defensemen, and thus the more reliable performer. Granted, Sal is five years older than Jackman, so maybe that had something to do with it. Jackman better step it up now, though, and validate management's faith in him.

I REALLY was hoping that we could get some offensive help at the deadline when we inevitably dumped some defensive talent, but that didn't happen. We got Cam Jannsen for Salvador. The upside of Jannsen is that he is a St. Louis area native, and there is a chance that the local fans will glomp on him big time. The downside is that he is an enforcer, not a goal scorer, and we need scoring, as for whatever reason the current corps just won't/can't put the biscuit in the bag when we need points.

The dumping of Christian Backman was a good move, though. That man just never could get it together and consistently perform at even a mediocre level. I predict he'll be back in Europe in just a few years, as he doesn't seem to be able to perform at the NHL level. Some people might think that trading him for a fourth-round draft pack is a poor return, but my response is that he wasn't giving the team anything with his play, so a mid-round draft pick is better than anything we were going to get by keeping him.

In the end, a fairly middling day in Blues land, and confirmation that management knows the team won't make the playoffs this year. Expect to see most of the defensemen at Peoria play in various games the rest of the year so the coach and management can get a good look at who to put on the fast track for next year.

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