The John Davidson/Larry Pleau team did a pretty fantastic job with their trade deadline transactions. I saw JD in the hallway at Tuesday night’s game after his press conference and congratulated him. You could see that he had gotten little sleep in the previous few days. But, I would say, and I'm sure he would say, it was worth it.
I know what this is going to sound like. It’s going to sound like I’m a shill for the organization. But, I don’t care. What you’re reading here is how I really feel. And if that sounds like shilling, so be it. I’m still a Blues fan, even though I work for the team on game nights. And I get excited when exciting things happen. After all, we Blues fans haven’t had much to get cranked about for three or four years.
Of course, we'll never know what other deals were offered, or what JD and company might have turned down, but the packages for Tkachuk and Guerin. The re-signings. The Wideman-Boyes trade with Boston. Outwardly, I can’t imagine anyone handling the situation much better than they did. While the draft picks will take a while to reap dividends, having that many high draft picks for the next couple of drafts will put the team in prime trading position…and/or prime drafting position. Either way, great things almost have to come from it.
Getting a player like Boyes for Dennis Wideman, one of the expendables considering the number of quality players the team currently has working the blueline, was icing on the cake. Brad Boyes is the kind of player that should be able to thrive under Andy Murray. He apparently got demoted to some degree in Boston because they needed to give quality ice time to other higher profile kids. So, naturally his production was a little down this year. You just get the feeling that the kid has the skill (26 goals last year) to do great things in a top-six forward role here. He’s already had one star-quality season.
I think most non-insiders have the wrong opinion of Jamal Mayers. I might have been one of those people in the past. I, like many, have been frustrated with Jammer's inability to finish, and his lack of play-making prowess. But, the Blues, and apparently many other teams in the league, think very highly of the rest of his game. His ability to put in quality ice-time in just about every other way made him a valuable commodity on deadline day. So much so that the Blues decided to resign him to, what appears to be, a reasonable three-year deal. The other thing about Mayers is his obvious passion about wearing the Blue Note. He truly does bleed blue, and doesn't mind shedding some of it for the good of the team.
With Jarmo Kekalainen running things on draft day, and JD/LP ready to move up or turn picks into players, draft day ’07 will take on a significance rarely seen in Arch-town. I, for one, can’t wait.