Today we will not be discussing the disgusting excuse of a season the Blues are about to finally wrap up soon (I mean we even have found a way to suck at tanking lately. TANKING). But there’s a big elephant in the room that Blues media seems to be ignoring lately, and that is after trading Ryan O’Reilly to Toronto the Blues became 1 of 8 NHL teams without a captain. Now in other sports not having a captain isn’t a big deal at all, however for those who aren’t aware of how much of a difference it can make in hockey here are the other 7 NHL teams without a captain: Anaheim, Calgary, Vancouver, Seattle, Phildelphia, Winnipeg, and Arizona. Only one of those teams will make playoffs this year, and 4 of those 7 teams are bottom 5 in the NHL. You NEED a reliable captain to win in this league, almost as much as Kanye needs a new publicist. So without further ado let’s look at the (few) options the Blues have to give the C to this summer.
The most obvious and most likely option, Schenner. Has he ever been our best player or reached star level like Kyrou or ROR did? No. But night in night out you know this man would sacrifice all 3 of his testicles for his team. Blues in a skid and need a boost? He’ll fight right off the opening face off. Take out a teammate from behind? He’s dropping the gloves immediately. He also on multiple occasions has taken younger guys under his wing, even letting guys like Scott Perunovich and Jake Neighbours live with him while playing for the Blues. Besides just being a leader on and off the ice, Schenner also always puts up low-key good numbers. You get all of the above from him, plus 20+ goals a season and a solid 200 foot game for $6.5 million a year. The main reason I could see us not going with him is we’re clearly moving towards a team built on speed + skill, and although I would cut off my pinky for this man that just isn’t Schenner’s game. Not to mention he’s beginning to exit his prime given that he’s 31, which goes to the next option and my preferred choice…
Now before some of you geysers say this is a long shot, let’s look at some facts:
- Thomas has already been an alternate captain on multiple occasions
- He has been the main focus of a lot of the Blues social media content since last summer
- Last year he had a point per game season at age 22, which also included tallying the most assists in a season for the Blues since Pavel Demitra (RIP) in 2002-2003.
- This year he is pacing slightly under a point per game again and might also cross the 20 goal threshold for the 2nd time in his career in a year where the Blues offense was atrocious (if you average a point per game on this wheelchair with pedals team only god knows what you’d accomplish elsewhere).
- He has also proven to be much more vocal than we initially thought, being really the only Blue to defend his teammates when Berube publicly ripped the entire team a new one. That’s what you want in a captain, taking it off the chin for the fellas (no not like that)
The reality is Thomas has shown he can lead, is entering his prime at just 23 years old, and if the Blues want to really buy into being a team centered around speed/skill this move would make a ton of sense.
Obviously we shipped him up to Toronto at the deadline, but you are huffing too much paint if you think this isn’t a possibility. O’Reilly loved it here, won a cup here, plus him and Doug Armstrong seem to have a hard on for each other. Not only would this be awesome as we would likely get ROR for a solid deal given his low point production the last 2 seasons, it would be absolutely hysterical. We essentially would have received a 1st round pick from Toronto in exchange for like 15 regular season games of O’Reilly followed by however many games it takes Tampa to hand Toronto it’s annual 1st round playoff exit. You know damn well Army is the kind of guy to hint to O’Reilly that he intends on offering him a contract this summer, which would be a complete FLEECING of Toronto in that trade. Shit, maybe Armstrong just sent O’Reilly there as a sleeper agent to try and recruit Matthews to STL when he comes back (if you think Matthews is for sure staying in Toronto after 6 straight first round exits you must have some top tier crack in your system). Do I think O’Reilly coming back is LIKELY? No, but I think it is way more of a possibility than most are admitting.
Just please for the love of god let it not be Parayko, we’d be better off giving Barclay the C.