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  • Blues Turning The Page With Martin Rucinsky

    P-D

    Blues forward Martin Rucinsky will not be in the lineup tonight, a sign that the team is ready to give as much ice time as it can to players who will be in the fold next season.

    Rucinsky, 37, will be a unrestricted free agent this summer and the Blues will not re-sign him.

    The decision to make Rucinsky a healthy scratch tonight and perhaps many more times in the final 15 games was a group consensus among Blues President John Davidson, GM Larry Pleau, VP of Hockey Operations Al MacInnis and head coach Andy Murray.

    “Between management and coaching, as I told Marty, we want to see our young kids play,” Murray said. “It’s tonight’s game and then we’ll monitor things from there. Our plan has been to play our young guys in the games coming up. We haven’t gotten the wins we would have liked to have gotten. It was felt that Marty would help get those. It’s not his fault that we haven’t, but we need to have a look at our young players.”

    Rucinsky said after today’s morning skate that he understands the Blues’ decision.

    “That’s how it works . . . that’s how it is . . . I don’t know what to say,” Rucinsky said. “There’s not much I can do about it. The decision is not mine; it’s theirs. I’m just going to have to live with it. I guess it’s a part of our job. I can’t control those things. What I can control is to be prepared everday for games, and if that decision comes, that I’m going to be in the lineup, I have to make sure I’m ready for it.”

    There was a lot of speculation that the Blues would trade Rucinsky at the trading deadline Feb. 26 to create ice time for others. But there were no takers for Rucinsky, who is finishing the second year of a two-year, $4.75 million contract.

    I asked Rucinsky if he was surprised not to be moved at the deadline.

    “I wasn’t really thinking about it to be honest with you,” said Rucinsky, who has a no-trade clause. “If something would come along then I would have looked at it. If not, then fine. I wanted to stay here . . . I’ve been here for two years. I like my teammates and I want to finish it here.”

    This is Rucinsky’s 16th season in the NHL and he’s not sure if he’s going to return next year some place else.

    “I don’t know . . . I haven’t thought about it yet,” Rucinsky said. “This year has been a tough year for me, all the way around. I’ll see what happens. I’m not going to make any decisions now. It wouldn’t make sense. I’ll take some time off, see what happens and I’m going to look at my options and see if I want to play . . . if I don’t want to play.”

    Rucinsky said he feels like he could still help a club.

    “I can play this game,” Rucinsky said. “When I’m healthy, I feel pretty good . . . I feel strong. Conditioning-wise, it’s not a problem at all. Obviously I’m not 22 years old any more, but I feel like I can skate. I think that I can contribute somehow somewhere, but we’ll see what happens.”

    How does Rucinsky look back at his two years with the Blues?

    “I decided to sign here two years ago, and I pretty much stuck to it the whole two years,” Rucinsky said. “I’m not the kind of person that’s going to run away from problems. I knew coming here could go either way. The team when I came here signed some new guys to try and make the team better. Obviously I know JD from New York. I decided to come here and I’m not going to look at it as a bad two years.

    “I love it here, I like this city . . . when I was here the first time, it was a good year. We made the playoffs. I always like St. Louis and will have good memories. Obviously it would be way better if we make the playoffs both years, but that’s the way it is sometimes. It’s not an easy thing to do these days, make the playoffs. It didn’t happen. Everything bad is happening for some good reason. I believe in that. As long as you survive, then it’s good.”

    This means that a guy like David Perron should play a majority if not all of the remaining 15 games. He’s averaging 12:13 per game now and that may increase by 1 minute or so.

    I asked Perron what he thought about the Blues’ decision to sit Rucinsky and, in effect, put him on the ice more.

    “I want to be in there because I deserve it,” Perron said. “Obviously I want to play every night and hearing that is cool, but if I don’t play good, I’ll be out of the lineup, too. We’ll see what happens in the next few weeks.”

    Perron is basically the only young forward to whom the Blues can give more games and ice time. Remember, the Blues can not call up any players from Peoria unless it’s an emergency situation, meaning they have less then 12 healthy forwards. Right now they have 14 healthy, so three players would have to be hurt for the team to be able to call somebody up.

    Meanwhile, we have learned that Blues prospect T.J. Oshie can not play in St. Louis this season. I spoke to Peoria GM Kevin McDonald today and he said the rule is tied to a player’s age when he signs a pro contract.

    For any player 21 or older who plays in one NHL game, it counts as an entire season toward their contract. The Blues wouldn’t want to do that because Oshie would then be one year closer to free agency and other perks after simply playing one or two games.

    The situation was different last year with Erik Johnson and this year with David Perron. Because they were younger than 21 when they signed, Johnson and Perron could have played up to NINE games without the Blues burning an entire season of holding their rights.

    Oshie turned 21 last December. When his season ends at the University of North Dakota, he could decide to sign a professional tryout contract and participate in the AHL playoffs with the Rivermen. He would then sign a pro contract with the Blues over the summer. That’s exactly what David Backes did a few years ago, and everyone in the organization (and Backes) agreed that it helped him immensely.

    JR
    After reading this, it sounds like management is conceding the season without directly saying it.
    RIP Chris Jones 1971-2009
    You'll never be forgotten.

  • #2
    Good, Rucinsky is a waste of a roster spot.


    "Sometimes you score, sometimes you don't," Tarasenko said. "You can't score every game. So, at the same time, you need to help your team. You can be a factor. That's what I try to do. I believe it's coming if you just don't think about it".

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    • #3
      Originally posted by JWB View Post
      P-D



      After reading this, it sounds like management is conceding the season without directly saying it.
      Uh, do we have a "Duh" smiley? The worst thing that could possibly happen to the Blues would be to squeak into the playoffs and get routed by Detroit in the first round.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Airshark View Post
        Uh, do we have a "Duh" smiley? The worst thing that could possibly happen to the Blues would be to squeak into the playoffs and get routed by Detroit in the first round.
        I don't know if you're saying 'duh' to me but I've felt all along this team wasn't going to make the playoffs.

        Anyway, it's nice to hear the younger players are now going to play a lot more often.
        RIP Chris Jones 1971-2009
        You'll never be forgotten.

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        • #5
          Sucks that we won't see Oshie up here this season, but hopefully he can tear it up in Peoria.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Airshark View Post
            The worst thing that could possibly happen to the Blues would be to squeak into the playoffs and get routed by Detroit in the first round.
            Thanks for that miserable flashback(s).

            You're right, of course. Mediocrity only breeds more mediocrity, as we saw for about 10 years.
            "At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed."
            – Frederick Douglass, doing an amazing job since 1852

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            • #7
              Originally posted by _Gassoff View Post
              Good, Rucinsky is a waste of a roster spot.
              Not to mention a couple million dollars.
              Go Cards ...12 in 13.


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              • #8
                Rucinsky: 959 GP / 241 G / 370 A / 611 Pts

                He once was on a team that went to the second round of the playoffs. He was on 3 teams in the 01/02 season. From the 01/02 season until now he went from Montreal to Dallas to New York to St. Louis to New York to Vancouver to New York to St. Louis. He was drafted by Edmonton and traded to Quebec, played for the Avalance a part of their first season and was traded to Montreal where he played for 6+ seasons before jumping around the league all over. His most productive year was 95/96 where he scored 75 points in 78 games. He started that year with the Avs and was traded to Montreal and the Avs went on to win the Stanley Cup that season. He was traded along with Andrei Kovalenko and Jocelyn Thibault in return for Mike Keane and Patrick Roy.
                25MM jobs in 10 years / 4% GDP Growth / Insurance for everybody / Schools flush with cash don't produce results
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                • #9
                  why didn't they trade him at the deadline, then. i guess we were only like 5 pts out of the last playoff spot at the time......but there were still a few teams we had to leapfrog to get to that spot.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bigJOE View Post
                    why didn't they trade him at the deadline, then. i guess we were only like 5 pts out of the last playoff spot at the time......but there were still a few teams we had to leapfrog to get to that spot.
                    Do you know they didn't try?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TTB View Post
                      Not to mention a couple million dollars.
                      ++
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                      • #12
                        As of right now the Blues are in line for the #4 pick in the draft, they need to position themselves to get a top 3 pick so they can get Steven Stamkos, Drew Doughty, or Alex Pietrangelo. Those guys are all thought of as superstar type of talent who could be interchangeable at the #1 pick.
                        You're being fucking dramatic. You own a TV and an air mattress. That's not exactly what I'd call "a lot to lose."

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                        • #13
                          A dreadful signing, disasterous output. Good riddance.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Charlie Sheen View Post
                            As of right now the Blues are in line for the #4 pick in the draft, they need to position themselves to get a top 3 pick so they can get Steven Stamkos, Drew Doughty, or Alex Pietrangelo. Those guys are all thought of as superstar type of talent who could be interchangeable at the #1 pick.
                            I don't see them winning too many games the rest of the way. After this long road trip they have home and homes with Detroit Nashville and Columbus in the final weekend. Those last 2 games against Columbus may be pretty important.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Charlie Sheen View Post
                              As of right now the Blues are in line for the #4 pick in the draft, they need to position themselves to get a top 3 pick so they can get Steven Stamkos, Drew Doughty, or Alex Pietrangelo. Those guys are all thought of as superstar type of talent who could be interchangeable at the #1 pick.
                              All three of them are considered very solid, but last I heard Nikita Filatov was still considered the #2 guy...with even more potential offensive upside than Stamkos.





                              I think the Blues are in good shape to get a legit all-star caliber player as long as they remain top 4 or so.

                              Right now, they're on pace to finish 4th...but only .4 points ahead of the Islanders and .5 points ahead of Toronto.

                              Even single wins will really hurt them now.


                              The good news is that the Blues still have Atlanta's 2nd rounder...which is currently looking like the #3 pick in the 2nd round. Now if only they had let Tkachuk sign in Atlanta they would be looking at #3 and #4 overall this year.
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