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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:02 pm 
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Looked around and didn't see this posted. If it is, I apologize. :bert:

Here's Bucci's Western Conference preview - [url]

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/preview20 ... id=4537388[/url]

And to save you some reading:

15. Colorado Avalanche
14. Phoenix Coyotes
13. Minnesota Wild
12. Edmonton Oilers
11. Dallas Stars
10. Nashville Predators
9. Los Angeles Kings
8. Anaheim Ducks
7. Columbus Blue Jackets
6. St. Louis Blues


The serotonin's rushing, I'm coughing
Well, I kinda caught the blues
But you won't catch me complaining
To the super or the moon
Because the carrot's gonna dangle
Until the diamond is appraised
-- "Endless Entertainment" by Bright Eyes

I wrote this two years ago for the Blues preview:
John Davidson is a smart and confident hockey man who has seen every nook and cranny of the hockey business. His boss, Dave Checketts, is a polished, smart businessman with a fine head of hair and a politician's aura in the mold of Mitt Romney. Under coach Andy Murray, a smart hockey dude, the Blues finished 27-18-9 last season and missed the playoffs by 15 points. Everything seems to be looking up.

In last season's preview, we talked about how the draft history of the Blues put them in a bad spot (when they went for a championship every year) and then a good spot:

2008 -- No. 4: Alex Pietrangelo
2007 -- No. 13: Lars Eller
2006 -- No. 1: Erik Johnson (and Patrik Berglund 25th overall)
2005 -- No. 24: T.J. Oshie
2004 -- No. 17: Marek Schwarz
2003 -- No. 30: Shawn Belle
2002 -- None
2001 -- None
2000 -- No. 30: Jeff Taffe

We are now in the "up" stage two seasons later. The 2005 and 2006 drafts, getting Andy McDonald for Doug Weight and trading Dennis Wideman for Brad Boyes (the ultimate "great trade for both teams" deal) has put the Blues in a great position going forward. Kariya's $6 million comes off the books after this season, as does Keith Tkachuk's $2.1 million. This gives St. Louis the option of being a player for someone like Kovalchuk, or bringing back Kariya and Tkachuk at reduced prices. Both are at the point where their salaries will decline going forward.

That cap space may also be used for goaltending. That is the one mystery surrounding the Blues. Right now, they pay their goaltenders $4.3 million combined. As long as they are performing, that is a great way to have depth elsewhere (the Rangers pay their goalies $7.5 million; the Ducks $7.3 million). The Blues also have a little bit of cap space to do something this season.

It's a great time to be a Blues fan. Not only are they improving, not only are they a playoff contender, but they are also interesting. This team has an attraction to it. The young players are cool. And Kariya and Tkachuk have late-1990s star power still to this day. Their names sound like hockey.

Hockey matters in St. Louis again. Cool.

5. Vancouver Canucks
4. Detroit Red Wings
3. San Jose Sharks
2. Chicago Blackhawks
1. Calgary Flames


All I can say is - damn it feels nice to be ranked that high again - next stop :cup:

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:15 pm 
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I'm not complaining, but I honestly think the Hawks are ranked a bit too high. I see them getting 4th again this season.

In addition, I don't see why everyone thinks Calgary is so great. Them and Vancouver have to be the most overrated teams in hockey.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:20 pm 
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Ruutu15 wrote:
I'm not complaining, but I honestly think the Hawks are ranked a bit too high. I see them getting 4th again this season.

In addition, I don't see why everyone thinks Calgary is so great. Them and Vancouver have to be the most overrated teams in hockey.


But they are CANADIAN teams...the only thing they are good at is hockey.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:34 pm 
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I was a little surprised to see Calgary ranked so high. To be honest, I was scrolling down the list mentally checking off teams. After the Wings ranked 4th, I thought to myself "well chicago must be #1." When I saw them at #2, I honestly couldn't think of who was ranked #1.

But good for cal-GARY. I hope they live up to the hype.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:33 am 
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Hockey matters in St. Louis again. Cool.


I can't read this enough.

I know same hate 'bandwagon' fans, but I'm jsut glad to see the organ-iz-ation get some love!

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:39 pm 
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:letsgoblues:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:24 pm 
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Jeff Taffe. Now there was a pick and half.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:49 pm 
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DaDitka wrote:
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Hockey matters in St. Louis again. Cool.


I can't read this enough.

I know same hate 'bandwagon' fans, but I'm jsut glad to see the organ-iz-ation get some love!


Me too. And Bucci pointed something out that I had never realized...St. Louis isn't just cool on a local level, they are cool on a national level again. Their 3rd jersey was celebrated around the league last year. They have a crop of youngsters who form one of the most likable cores of any team. And, not to mention, having Keith Tkachuk and Paul Kariya gives them two of the biggest hockey names/icons of the 90's, names that non-hockey fans know because of the mid-90's explosion the league experienced. That's pretty sweet to think about.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:55 pm 
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DaDitka wrote:
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Hockey matters in St. Louis again. Cool.


I can't read this enough.

I know same hate 'bandwagon' fans, but I'm jsut glad to see the organ-iz-ation get some love!


Me too. And Bucci pointed something out that I had never realized...St. Louis isn't just cool on a local level, they are cool on a national level again. Their 3rd jersey was celebrated around the league last year. They have a crop of youngsters who form one of the most likable cores of any team. And, not to mention, having Keith Tkachuk and Paul Kariya gives them two of the biggest hockey names/icons of the 90's, names that non-hockey fans know because of the mid-90's explosion the league experienced. That's pretty sweet to think about.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:12 pm 
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dmiles2186 wrote:
DaDitka wrote:
Quote:
Hockey matters in St. Louis again. Cool.


I can't read this enough.

I know same hate 'bandwagon' fans, but I'm jsut glad to see the organ-iz-ation get some love!


Me too. And Bucci pointed something out that I had never realized...St. Louis isn't just cool on a local level, they are cool on a national level again. Their 3rd jersey was celebrated around the league last year. They have a crop of youngsters who form one of the most likable cores of any team. And, not to mention, having Keith Tkachuk and Paul Kariya gives them two of the biggest hockey names/icons of the 90's, names that non-hockey fans know because of the mid-90's explosion the league experienced. That's pretty sweet to think about.



You reposted the same thing over an hour later.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:00 pm 
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section319 wrote:
dmiles2186 wrote:
DaDitka wrote:
Quote:
Hockey matters in St. Louis again. Cool.


I can't read this enough.

I know same hate 'bandwagon' fans, but I'm jsut glad to see the organ-iz-ation get some love!


Me too. And Bucci pointed something out that I had never realized...St. Louis isn't just cool on a local level, they are cool on a national level again. Their 3rd jersey was celebrated around the league last year. They have a crop of youngsters who form one of the most likable cores of any team. And, not to mention, having Keith Tkachuk and Paul Kariya gives them two of the biggest hockey names/icons of the 90's, names that non-hockey fans know because of the mid-90's explosion the league experienced. That's pretty sweet to think about.



You reposted the same thing over an hour later.


I had an error message after my first post. I didn't catch it right away, so I hit F5 refresh and apparently it posted twice. no, I didn't not think my point was so important I felt posting it twice in separate hours. :grin:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:42 pm 
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dmiles2186 wrote:
DaDitka wrote:
Quote:
Hockey matters in St. Louis again. Cool.


I can't read this enough.

I know same hate 'bandwagon' fans, but I'm jsut glad to see the organ-iz-ation get some love!


Me too. And Bucci pointed something out that I had never realized...St. Louis isn't just cool on a local level, they are cool on a national level again. Their 3rd jersey was celebrated around the league last year. They have a crop of youngsters who form one of the most likable cores of any team. And, not to mention, having Keith Tkachuk and Paul Kariya gives them two of the biggest hockey names/icons of the 90's, names that non-hockey fans know because of the mid-90's explosion the league experienced. That's pretty sweet to think about.


Agreed on all points, not to mention that TJ kid got the 'Goal of the Year' in fan voting to boot.

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