It doesn't help that we're paying a healthy sum to some washed up players (Hey Steen, I'm not only looking at Bouwmeester when I make that statement).
If the team is all in on the youth movement, now would be a good time to get rid of Bouwmeester, Gunnarsson, Steen and letting Stastny walk after his contract is up. It's aggravating that Steen has the NTC as does Bouwmeester--are those full or partial NTC's? If they could magically dump all four salaries, we're looking at clearing 21 million in cap space, and the cheaper, younger replacements are already in the system. This is a pretty solid free agent class coming up, just saying.
But really, seeing that 5.75 mil for Steen for the next 3 years and his performance this season--down in goals, down in assists and a minus-14, it's hard to stomach. Kyrou, Thomas, Kostin, Thompson, Blais, Walman and Schmaltz on D, they're either ready now or ready soon and there's Steener providing a cap hit of 5.75 million until he's 37, and Bouwmeester skating like he's in a pool of molasses for another year. It's hard to take.
The thread title is entirely accurate, and nothing will change until someone steps in and says it's time to change the record. This is a team whose pinnacle moment was a comeback victory in a playoff series they ultimately lost. This is a team that settled for the playoffs for over two decades and never once took the next step, often making an ill advised trade to prepare for the post-season which ultimately made their team worse and other teams better. This is a team that just never seems like it can sustain keeping up with the pace of play in this era of NHL hockey, always reverting to defense first philosophies when the going gets tough, whether it's a Murray, a Hitchcock or a Yeo team. I'm going to go out on a not so long limb right now and say this: if Chicago fires Q, as I suspect they will if they miss the playoffs, it would be the height of irresponsibility for the Blues to not immediately fire Yeo and bring Q back to replace him. We have the personnel that would thrive under a Quennville system for a sustained period of time, and he's grown exponentially as a coach since he was last here.
A lot does fall on the players. It's pathetic that they clearly rely on one teammate (Schwartz) so much that in his absence they fall flat on their faces. But organizationally top to bottom there's a slew of screw-ups. Sundqvist, Thorburn, Bennett... playing Bouwmeester over Dunn, putting youthful skill on lines with old grinders, having no suitable short term answer for the absence of ONE player, having a substandard power play on a team with at least four defensemen capable of QB'ing a powerplay as good as any in the league, having a starting goalie who goes into full meltdown mode like clockwork every year it seems.
This may seem like the classic Blues fan bipolar meltdown, but it's just ridiculous. When Schwartz comes back, the team will go back to winning at a tremendous clip, and this whole swoon will be forgotten. A period of winning will blur the memory of all the subtle little things which are wrong with this team and we'll just keep singing the same song next year and the year after.
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