(Photo Credit: Eguidemagazine.com)
Happy (US) Thanksgiving to our wonderful and faithful readers! We here at BluesRants would like to wish you all a happy, safe, and fun-filled holiday! We are grateful for every one of you, and we’re working hard to bring you as many insightful fan-written articles as we can.
Today, before we all sit down and stuff ourselves with plenty of turkey, stuffing, and even cranberry sauce, we want to take the time to reflect and be thankful for our Blues. Without the St. Louis Blues, none of us would be doing what we do today. None of us would experience the pleasure (or the pain) of rooting for the ultimate NHL underdog. Without the players, we would have no one to invest our hopes, dreams, or frustrations in.
So, here are some of the top 5 things we are thankful for:
- OWNERSHIP WHO WILL SPEND TO THE CAP: Without Tom Stillman and the investors controlling the fate of our hockey team, we would not have Brayden Schenn, Ryan O’Reilly, Tyler Bozak, Pat Maroon, David Perron, or Chad Johnson over the last two years. Combined with homegrown talents like Vladimir Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz, Alex Pietrangelo, and Jake Allen, on paper, our team looks pretty good. Though the product has slacked and not lived up to expectations, the fact that the ownership is not only ready but willing to spend to the cap and shell out money like candy to make the team better is a welcome, hopeful and unexpected surprise.
- SCHENN AND O’REILLY: Speaking of Schenn and O’Reilly, within the last two years, no two men have shaken up the core of the St. Louis Blues in their first Blue Note year as they have. With their hard work, passion, heart, and willingness to lay their bodies on the line every shift, every moment, every game, these two have redefined what Blues hockey is. When you think of Blues hockey, the heart of the team lies with these two. They’ve become irreplaceable parts of the leadership core for years to come.
- MANAGEMENT WILLING TO CHANGE, WILLING TO WIN: This season is not an easy one to swallow. The standings aside, Armstrong’s put together a squad that, on paper, should be able to win. He went for the jugular in the off-season. And when the season began trending downward, he dismissed Coach Mike Yeo and called the leadership out on what he called “unacceptable” and “under average” performance, stating that what they gave wasn’t good enough, and their built-up credibility eroded. That slap across the team’s face issued a stern reality check, and a final warning: turn this season around, or more heads will roll. Armstrong’s willingness to use the ax is commendable.
- PRO-MILITARY AND FIRST RESPONDER SPIRIT: By honoring a veteran or currently serving military member every game, giving away tickets, or organizing baby showers for military spouses, the Blues make it a priority to give back to those serving our country overseas or locally at home. And organizations like Backstoppers and special giveaways raise money for those local men and women who serve as first responders, who put their lives on the line to serve, protect, heal, and take care of our city and its people. The players may feel like heroes on the ice at times, but they know who the real heroes are, and are quick to give back without question.
- THE BEST FANS ON THE PLANET: No franchise’s fans have been as long-suffering as Blues Nation. Since 1967, we have searched and clawed our way towards Lord Stanley’s Cup, and though we have yet to touch it, we remain hopeful that the ultimate trophy for the best sport in history will somehow take its lap down Market Street. We don’t give up. We don’t back down. And we will fight for what we believe in. Screw lockouts, failed seasons, poor performances and seemingly impossible odds. We don’t need to see the numbers. We’re going to back up our Blues somehow, someway, anyway. We are the masochists of the NHL, and we’re proud of it. Plus… statistically speaking… all curses are meant to be broken. All streaks (good or bad) will end. No one stays down unless they choose to be, and this team, in whatever year it happens, will not take failure lightly. One year, it will be the year. One year, it will be the time. One year, it WILL happen. And that is something to be grateful for.
Happy Thanksgiving, all! May today be spent with loved ones, stuffing yourselves with the best holiday food, and enjoying a day dedicated to gratefulness and joy.
From the entire BluesRants staff -RAY, TIM, SARAH, JESSE, JAMES, BRENDEN, CHRIS, CALEB, and STEPHEN