Does Wade Redden Make Sense? Plus Blues Clues!
Just to be clear this isn’t 2003 is it?
I’m having flashbacks when Wade Redden was a relevant NHL D-Man. You know, when he was a force and regularly producing 35-45 points a season.
The reality is nobody knows if this guy can still be a top 4 NHL D-man. Some scouts I talk to have him pegged at a 5/6 at best while others say it’s too hard to know. I’ll be the first to say it’s tough to evaluate a player like Redden in the minors. How motivated was he down there to perform? Were you truly getting an accurate read on what he can contribute to an NHL roster?
We all know this isn’t an ideal time of the year to be looking to solidify your back end. If you are, these are the options you’re stuck with. It seems unlikely Redden will accept the minimum to return to the NHL with multiple teams apparently having interest. It’s safe to assume the competition will drive up his price tag.
Redden is primed to become the feel good story of the NHL. He played his prime years in a Canadian market and therefore has a lot of fans in the NHL media.
Can he still play?
This is really all that matters.
A team like St. Louis for example isn’t starving for a 5/6. They need a top 4 and there’s no way of knowing if Redden can fill that void. There’s a chance he can but we can’t evaluate him his like he’s still in Ottawa.
I’d be very careful how many dollars I’d commit to him. If someone gets him at a good price then there’s little to lose.
If I were him I'd jump at a chance to play for a contending team like St. Louis with the potential of playing with Norris candidate Alex Pietrangelo. Decent way to re-establish yourself in the NHL.
The Blues have Colin White in camp and thus far he looks just ok. He certainly wouldn’t be your first choice but he’s a big body who's had a nice career. If you’re going to play for Ken Hitchcock you have to be able to skate.
Look, Colin White won't excite you with his skating but he is a steady, safe player who can defend the front of the net. Just getting to the red line and keeping a respectable gap in the two scrimmages can look like a struggle. He does bring something the Blues don’t have in terms of winning experience on the back end along with some real intimidation. The guy is a big man and has no issue playing mean. Is he the answer for the St. Louis Blues? To be honest I wouldn’t have an issue either way especially in a season in which you need bodies. If they decide to keep him I’m sure he’d find a role bouncing in and out of the lineup. You can never have enough experience on your roster but you still have to be able to keep up.
White doesn’t fight like he used to due to an eye injury he suffered a few years back in New Jersey. He took a puck in the eye during a Devils practice which has required him to wear a shield ever since.
He did make a nice play Thursday night intercepting a Jaden Schwartz back door pass intended for Chris Stewart.
When you look at the players fighting for spots defensively, no one has really stood out. Jeff Woywitka is a big body who can skate but sometimes forgets to use his skating ability. You’ve got to move your feet and think quickly in this system. If he stays he needs to improve based off of what we’ve seen this week.
Ken Hitchcock as known Woywiyka since he was a 19 year-old and a first round pick of the Flyers. He would have made the roster his rookie season if he wasn't part of the deal that brought Mike Comrie to Philly.
Ian Cole is now paired with Alex Pietrangelo. This has more to do with the coaching staff wanting Kris Russell and Roman Polak playing together. These two can matchup favorably against size or speed and separating Polak and Russell is easier said than done. Cole ahs been playing all season in the AHL but Ken Hitchcock says they still need to get him up to speed.
May the Schwartz be Blue….
Jaden Schwartz should be here and will be here. The kid is a good player. He understands positioning, he’s at the right place at the right time, and can make plays under pressure. Most importantly for any young player he listens, which the coaching staff and his teammates appreciate.
I’m very interested to see how this plays out. Chris Porter is a good player. We all know he can skate and keeps himself in unbelievable condition. Ken Hitchcock likes him and has comfort knowing he’s able to turn to him if necessary. The problem is you can’t keep everyone. All we can do is sit back and see how this plays out.
The Blues do have Andrew Murray in the system if they need depth in this area.
Petro-Back to Form…
How good was Alex Pietrangelo Thursday night? Let’s just say he appears ready to go. The line of Backes, Oshie, and Perron are each quickly getting up to speed every day. The three of them recently sat down on their own to watch video from last season.
The Blues lost only two of 90 sponsors from last season following the lockout. Qdoba as I mentioned the other day along with Plaza Motors. That’s a job well done. Both of these companies would have returned but needed to spend allocated media dollars elsewhere during the lockout.
There will be a pre-game ceremony Saturday to honor Doug Armstrong, Ken Hitchcock, and goaltenders Jaro Halak and Brian Elliott who all took home post-season awards last year.
The Blues and Brett Hull continue to have discussions about a role with the organization moving forward.
David Perron is using more speed on his shootouts than we’re used to seeing. He’s one of the few players who can still handle the puck in tight with speed which makes things tough for goaltenders.
The Blues PP is the toughest area to get going with a shortened training camp. The staff wants rebounds off of quick shots to create scoring chances.
Word is the new bunker club underneath by the dressing room is already sold out. Apparently it cost $10,000 to join along with $10,000 for the season. This year the price was cut in half to $5,000. All food and beverage is included along with TV’s if you want to stay in the club during the game. Tickets to the game are not included.
The Blues have made improvements to the Alumni Suite as well adding more space. This allows the team to sell 50 tickets per game for those who want to rub elbows with former Blues.
Terry Yake, who has taken over as the Director of Blues Alumni, will be doing color commentary on Radio for the opener Saturday night as Kelly Chase has NHL Network commitments.
Colin white is staying with Jamie Langenbrunner during camp.
Congrats to D-man Mark Cundari on making the AHL All Star team for Peoria. He’s quietly done a nice job this week.
More to come,
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