Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The State of the Blues

As the St. Louis Blues face another post-season of enjoying their golf game while others try to win a championship, let's look not to the past, but to the future.  A future filled with more golf in April, for a few different reasons.  Seriously, this team won't be contending next year.  How do I know this?  One word: 'budget.'  The team is up for sale.  This means that unless a new owner shows up within the next couple months with big bags of money, there will be little action by the Blues in the free agent market, keeping the Blues near the bottom of the league salary-wise.  And do you know what happens to teams in the bottom of the salary tables?  They don't make the playoffs.  Let's check the math.

Using NHLNumbers, the bottom ten teams in salary in the NHL are as follows (in millions):
  • New York Islanders - $45.54
  • Colorado Avalanche - $46.59
  • Atlanta Thrashers - $46.60
  • St. Louis Blues - $48.14
  • Florida Panthers - $48.51
  • Edmonton Oilers - $49.66
  • Carolina Hurricanes - $51.2
  • Dallas Stars - $52.15
  • Nashville Predators - $52.21
  • Columbus Blue Jackets - $53.29

Of those ten teams, only Nashville is in the playoffs.  It isn't that you can simply buy a championship.  If that was true, New Jersey would be in the playoffs and not dusting off their putters.  But of the six division winners, only Detroit isn't in the top 10 teams rated by salaries.  That's because it takes solid veteran players to win in the playoffs, and that takes money.  Money that the Blues don't have.  Ah, well, maybe next decade things will improve.

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