The Blues are into a transitioning mood as we get ready for the 2007-08 season. So far the reports from development camp are more than positive. There are four or more players ready to play now. I'm thinking I like Perron playing in the AHL this year instead of Quebec. This is going to hopefully pressure vetrans to play hard or force them to be traded. Unfortunately some players have no trade clauses in their contracts. We have got to figure no matter how well we compete this year unless where somewhere near undefeated that a few players most be moved for this supposedly deep draft coming up. Also I hope unless it's the perfect deal that we don't expend any youth for vetrans at a playoff run. This is how dynasties are built. A strong stead of prospects and the ability to identify players that are better moved for replenishing assets rather than held onto for sentimental value.
Cajanek is not a player that should be moved right away. Unless he has one hell of a season and even then the Blues should be preparing to move this guy after the Christmas break in my opinion. He clearly showed more heart last year towards the end. He was producing and taking a lot of shots. Players even like Boyes must also be considered throughout the year. He could be movable if he is considered too streaky and not consistent enough. If he is still be weighed too much by potential and promise then the Blues have to move him for space and continued asset build up. But I hope and think he'll do just fine.
Ryan Johnson has to go. With Birnier knocking at the door with speed and sniping ability if he looks this ready in camp then Johnson has to be waived or moved somehow. If anybody worries about an energy line all Birnier has to do is forecheck, use his speed and create more scoring opportunities than Johnson which shouldn't be at all hard. If you are worried and think that Johnson is a good penalty killer. Then you are simply mistaken and Birnier would prove a much stringer choice. As I stated in my earlier blog, speed and scoring ability on the penalty kill forces the power play team to make mistakes play the puck on the boards down low where it's pretty hard to create scoring opportunities.
I wish I could see how Martin Kariya plays because he still intrigues me. I like the idea that the Blues are adding some minor league talent to the RIvermen though. I believe this facilitates the development of the prospects and allows them to grow more and hopefully gives them some playoff practice. Also, winning is a habit.
I'll talk about the defense in my next blog and who should be moved there. Polak must play in the NHL this year.
Take care and LET'S GO BLUES!!!
I agree with you on Birner, he is ready and could take someone's spot on the roster, maybe Ryan Johnson or Cajanek. T.J. Oshie will be playing center for the Blues next season, watch out for this phenom! Oshie, Hobey winner Ryan Duncan and Martin Kariya played on a line together and they tore it up. Kariya is scrappy and I see a lot of Paul's style in him. He could one day play alongside his brother with the Blues. Polak is a stud, I agree, as soon as any of our defenseman get hurt, he will be on speed dial. He is a beast! I was very impressed with Erik Johnson's skating with the puck through the neutral zone and into the offensive zone. He assisted on 2 goals in the prospect camp scrimmage tonight.