Everywhere I go, people ask for my opinion on the current state of affairs with our struggling (to put it extremely mildly) St. Louis Blues. Here's my take.
Hurry up and get the damn team in the hands of someone who wants to own it!! The loyal and constantly optimistic fans of the NHL in our city deserve better.
Until the cloud of anticipation and negativity is lifted, we will continue to have to put up with the current roster and it's shortcomings. Not that the current gaggle of skaters isn't trying. They just don't have enough ammo to fight in the current war. It's Custer against the Indians...the Christians against the lions...New Orleans against Katrina. Even with Tkachuck and Weight healthy this group didn't figure to win many games.
I've been working for the team since '87, and there's only one other time when I remember there being as bad a situation as this. It was when Bob Plager tried his hand at coaching at this level. Everybody loves Bob, including me, but he would be the first to tell you that he was in over his head. And the team showed it. When he was replaced, the team came back to respectability.
Right now, there is very little hope for respectability this season. The ownership situation getting straightened out will at least give us an idea of whether or not the team will:
a) Stay in town
b) Have enough money behind it to be solid and competitive
c) Maintain the current leadership structure (President, GM, scouts, coach etc.)
d) Make a serious commitment to winning The Cup
e) Have solid hockey people calling the shots
Until some of these questions are answered, the players will reflect the general malaise that hangs around the hallways and offices at the Savvis Center.
The current roster of players just won't be able to win many games. All of us who love hockey in St. Louis will just have to get used to that and enjoy hockey in '05-'06 for hockey's sake. At least it will be fun to see Detroit and Nashville a few more times this year. They are among the cream-of-the-crop teams in the world right now.
"Hang in there" is the motto for Blues fans this year. I know, it always has been.