With the trade deadline now past and the Blues currently on a great five-game win streak, I want to take a brief look back a few days to the trade deadline and a few thoughts I have on the matter.
I can't help but be disappointed about two things the Blues did approaching the deadline.
1. I was very surprised when I heard the Blues were "very close" to trading David Perron to Boston in a package with Keith Tkachuk. I think that trade would have outraged Blues nation, to give away a talent like David Perron. Keith Tkachuk I don't mind, he's from Melrose, Massachusetts and Keith would have liked a chance to play for his hometown Bruins.
However, I'm intrigued by what Boston may have been offering for Perron, because I'm guessing the Blues had a very high pric etag for him. Blake Wheeler? I would have loved a Patrice Bergeron on the Blues, a natural centerman to maybe plan on a line reunited with Brad Boyes. Bergeron makes 4.75 million, but with Kariya's contract coming off the books and with the Blues possibly unloading more salary, they could have afforded him. But anyway, that trade did not happen and I think most Blues fans are glad Perron is still wearing a Bluenote.
2. The last few days leading up to the deadline, I heard rumors of a trade on the table that would send Paul Kariya to Vancouver for goaltending prospect Cory Schneider and ex-Blue Pavol Demitra. Although it seemed like a pretty legitimate trade, it's very unfortunate that it did not get done. I don't care much for Pavol Demitra, but I think the key piece of the trade was Cory Schneider. With Luongo between the pipes for ther Canucks and recently signing a big 12-year contract, there's just no room for Schneider in Vancouver. But I think the Blues should have re-worked the trade somehow and given that extra push to get him, because I feel like he may be a very special goaltender.
Blues fans have seen this organization search for a franchise goaltender for at least the last 15 years. They've seen guys like Jablonski, Joseph, Hebert, Fuhr, Turek, Johnson, McLennan, Brathwaite, Osgood, Divis, Legace, Sanford, Carey, Lalime. The list can go on, but the point is, none of those guys have ever given the Blues stability in net. Some may have provided it for stretches of time, but never consistently. The Blues have tried to develop goalies like Marek Schwarz and Jason Bacashihua, and possibly the biggest mistake may have been never giving Dwayne Roloson a chance with the Blues, despite him being an All-Star in the AHL with the Worcester IceCats.
Getting to my point about Cory Schneider, I really believe that this kid could be a phenomenal goaltender for some team. What intrigues me most is that he reminds me of a Ryan Miller prototype. Much like Miller's storied college career at Michigan State, Schneider was a star in net for Boston College, leading them to back-to-back Frozen Fours in 2006 and 2007, both times losing in the National Title game. Both guys are 6-foot-2, with Schneider at 195 lbs and Miller at 175. Schneider is a big guy in the net and he's had success at every level in his young career.
If you look at what Miller has done for the Buffalo Sabres as far as stability in net, helping that team be competitive every single year and giving them a chance to win every single night. And obviously most recently being a brick wall at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, leading Team USA to a silver medal, when they weren't supposed to even medal at all. Miller has done so much and I think if given the right opportunity, Schneider has potential to be a difference maker as well.
So in conclusion, I think that if the Blues were looking for a goaltender of the future, it may have been right under their nose, yet they did not seize the opportunity. But if they were smart, they may go after him again in the offseason, perhaps at the NHL Draft, because it would be one of the wisest moves they could make, and may be the best chance the team has at finally finding their franchise goaltender.