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One man's view of the Blues

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  • One man's view of the Blues

    What is the point of even making the playoffs if you're just going to lose? This season is the ultimate display of what has long been the problem with the Blues: they have NEVER EVER been serious about winning. There are no shortcuts to success but the Blues have been trying to take shortcuts to the Stanley Cup for the last 15 years.

    This season was a microcosm of the Blues history. The moves made by management were completely indicative of an organization not committed to winning the Cup. I've beaten this subject to death but I don't care--I'm going to beat it some more: the best thing that could have happened to the Blues this season would've been losing even more games than they did in January and February, pushing them so far out of the race that Pleau would've had no choice but to hold a fire sale. That was the only hope the Blues had of rebuilding this franchise because if they were anywhere close, anyone who has paid attention to Pleau's career knew he would do nothing of significance. The Red Wings, Flyers, and Maple Leafs paid exhorbitant prices for upper-tier players and many other teams overpaid for mid-level players in attempt to make one last run in the current NHL. The Blues could have positioned themselves to be loaded with quality prospects and draft picks after the labor war if they had traded a couple of their guys. But instead, they held on to everyone and added a couple marginal players just for the sake of making the playoffs.

    The Blues proved this season that making the playoffs is more important, organizationally, than winning the Cup. Why? Because the Blues don't want to do the grunt work necessary in building a champion. They want to be handed success rather than to earn success, something that has never ever worked in professional sports. That is why rather than building around a group of youngsters, they instead trade them all away for instant-gratification veterans. The Blues have yet to learn that there are no shortcuts to success. The reason the Avalanche and Red Wings have been so successful is because they did the grunt work to get here--the Avalanche were the Quebec Nordiques and were perenially one of the two or three worst teams in the league for about five years, but in the process they allowed a ton of young talent to develop, positioning themselves for this run. The Red Wings struggled to make the playoffs in the late 1980 and early 1990s when 16 of 21 teams made the playoffs. But they sacrificed the playoffs for letting a core group of young players grow together. They took their lumps and their reward was a cohesive group that has been one of the elite franchises for a decade now.

    The Blues? Well, they try to rebuild while still making the playoffs, something that simply isn't possible. You can't ever truly rebuild your franchise when you hold on to veterans year after year. The Blues claimed they were going to rebuild when they hired Pleau. Yet they didn't trade anyone--Hull, Turgeon, Courtnall, Duchesne, MacInnis...all of these guys either stayed on or were allowed to walk for nothing. The Blues have one of those five players now and they got nothing back in return for any of them.

    If the Blues were serious about some day winning the Cup, what they should have done would be follow the model of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning were awful for years, but during those years, they accumulated a fairly deep cast of young talent. Those youngsters took their lumps and lost a lot, but they learned and grew together and the end result is back-to-back division championships and, perhaps, a Cup one day.

    But the Blues aren't serious about winning the Cup. They proved once again this season that they think success and a championship should just be handed to them. No player who aspires to be a champion should come to St. Louis, because from an organizational standpoint, the Blues don't aspire to be champions.

  • #2
    I would agree with that, and also that the best thing that could have happened this year was for the 'streak' to end. However, there is one thing that concerns me.

    Lets say the Blues decided to go that route - hold a firesale, and build around young talent. Is the organization in place one that could *find* those young players that can grow into stars? The route that Tampa Bay went, in your example, only works if your organization can find players like St. Louis (who is the only one I think the Blues would have found, simply because of the name). Otherwise, you're just, say, the NHL equivilant of the Bulls, but without the six championships preceeding the endless rebuilding.

    What you suggest, especially post-lockout - however the new CBA ends up looking - will be the way to go. But I think that will only work if the current management is jettesoned along with the players.
    Official sponsor of: Pepsi Zero Sugar and Jordan Almonds.

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't know if the current group can do it. But they've also never tried.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by devaskar@Apr 14 2004, 04:24 AM
        What is the point of even making the playoffs if you're just going to lose? This season is the ultimate display of what has long been the problem with the Blues: they have NEVER EVER been serious about winning. There are no shortcuts to success but the Blues have been trying to take shortcuts to the Stanley Cup for the last 15 years.

        This season was a microcosm of the Blues history. The moves made by management were completely indicative of an organization not committed to winning the Cup. I've beaten this subject to death but I don't care--I'm going to beat it some more: the best thing that could have happened to the Blues this season would've been losing even more games than they did in January and February, pushing them so far out of the race that Pleau would've had no choice but to hold a fire sale. That was the only hope the Blues had of rebuilding this franchise because if they were anywhere close, anyone who has paid attention to Pleau's career knew he would do nothing of significance. The Red Wings, Flyers, and Maple Leafs paid exhorbitant prices for upper-tier players and many other teams overpaid for mid-level players in attempt to make one last run in the current NHL. The Blues could have positioned themselves to be loaded with quality prospects and draft picks after the labor war if they had traded a couple of their guys. But instead, they held on to everyone and added a couple marginal players just for the sake of making the playoffs.

        The Blues proved this season that making the playoffs is more important, organizationally, than winning the Cup. Why? Because the Blues don't want to do the grunt work necessary in building a champion. They want to be handed success rather than to earn success, something that has never ever worked in professional sports. That is why rather than building around a group of youngsters, they instead trade them all away for instant-gratification veterans. The Blues have yet to learn that there are no shortcuts to success. The reason the Avalanche and Red Wings have been so successful is because they did the grunt work to get here--the Avalanche were the Quebec Nordiques and were perenially one of the two or three worst teams in the league for about five years, but in the process they allowed a ton of young talent to develop, positioning themselves for this run. The Red Wings struggled to make the playoffs in the late 1980 and early 1990s when 16 of 21 teams made the playoffs. But they sacrificed the playoffs for letting a core group of young players grow together. They took their lumps and their reward was a cohesive group that has been one of the elite franchises for a decade now.

        The Blues? Well, they try to rebuild while still making the playoffs, something that simply isn't possible. You can't ever truly rebuild your franchise when you hold on to veterans year after year. The Blues claimed they were going to rebuild when they hired Pleau. Yet they didn't trade anyone--Hull, Turgeon, Courtnall, Duchesne, MacInnis...all of these guys either stayed on or were allowed to walk for nothing. The Blues have one of those five players now and they got nothing back in return for any of them.

        If the Blues were serious about some day winning the Cup, what they should have done would be follow the model of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning were awful for years, but during those years, they accumulated a fairly deep cast of young talent. Those youngsters took their lumps and lost a lot, but they learned and grew together and the end result is back-to-back division championships and, perhaps, a Cup one day.

        But the Blues aren't serious about winning the Cup. They proved once again this season that they think success and a championship should just be handed to them. No player who aspires to be a champion should come to St. Louis, because from an organizational standpoint, the Blues don't aspire to be champions.
        DING ©

        Sounds like something I've seen saying for quite some time...

        "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
        Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
        -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

        Comment


        • #5
          Yeah, but you've got to give Pleau credit for at least one thing. If he hadn't picked up Weinrich and Sillinger, the Blues would have been done in four.
          June 9, 1973 - The day athletic perfection was defined.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-Kva...eature=related

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by tallahassee blues fan@Apr 14 2004, 12:25 PM
            Yeah, but you've got to give Pleau credit for at least one thing. If he hadn't picked up Weinrich and Sillinger, the Blues would have been done in four.
            No, they wouldn't have made the playoffs w/out that....

            "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
            Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
            -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by 007+Apr 14 2004, 11:28 AM-->
              QUOTE (007 @ Apr 14 2004, 11:28 AM)

            • #8
              Originally posted by 007+Apr 14 2004, 10:28 AM-->
              QUOTE (007 @ Apr 14 2004, 10:28 AM)

            • #9
              Originally posted by devaskar+Apr 14 2004, 12:43 PM-->
              QUOTE (devaskar @ Apr 14 2004, 12:43 PM)
              Originally posted by [email protected] 14 2004, 10:28 AM

            • #10
              Originally posted by devaskar+Apr 14 2004, 12:43 PM-->
              QUOTE (devaskar @ Apr 14 2004, 12:43 PM)
              Originally posted by [email protected] 14 2004, 10:28 AM
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