Like the last three years, the first day of the NHL Free Agency Period is met with the same response from Blues' fanantics around 4 PM CT.
They're losing their minds.
Frustration, anger, disgust...
Those would be three of many words that could be used to describe the Blues and their activity (or lack thereof) in the free agent market.
This year more than ever, I choose to use this word...
I've been wondering throughout the day why people are reacting the way they are. I'm hearing such things as, "Why don't we go after (insert big-name free agent here...)" or ""What is wrong with the Blues, they should've signed so-and-so...they have the money!!!"
Here's why they haven't jumped in the free-agent pool yet.
Do you see the amount of money teams are overpaying for some of these players (see Erik Cole, James Wisniewski, Ville Leino, Ed Jovanovski, Max Talbot, etc...)?
There's your answer, clear as day.
The Blues aren't willing to play this game others are playing. They would be a lot more interested if their prices lowered to fit the type of player they are, or the type of production you would see out of them on a game-by-game basis. But, they got their money elsewhere, and while that's all good and well for them, it makes the teams that gave them that money look downright foolish.
So, while GM's like Florida's Dale Tallon decided to play "Mad Scientist" and go absolutely crazy with the amount of money he had to spend (let's add Buffalo's GM in there for good measure as well...), Blues GM Doug Armstrong is sitting back and waiting his turn.
Armstrong knows where and when he can jump in and get the guys he wants. It doesn't have to be today. But, when some of these big dominoes fall, a la Brad Richards, then a lot of the lesser-name free agents that aren't gaining much attention now will start to hear their names just a little bit more.
Look at what Armstrong accomplished last season, in getting goalie Jaroslav Halak from Montreal? This year's signing might not be as big, but I would definitely expect him to make a move for a name that's well-known around the NHL, and fans of the game as well.
Calm down, Blues fans. Remember what it's all about.
More to come,