(Hockey StL) – The decision to trade David Perron wasn’t just about finances; it was also about sending a message.
Perron is a highly skilled forward who not only has the potential to be a goal scorer, but also has tremendous puck control- especially in traffic. There is no mistaking the talent and skill the Sherwood, Quebec native possesses.
Despite the upside that all of us can plainly see, Perron was regressing, and many argue it wasn’t just due to a concussion that he suffered at the hands of Joe Thornton in 2010. Other than the injuries, something else seemed to be at work; something that has been a constant theme in the Blues’ locker room in recent years.
Laziness, unwillingness to work hard, resting on laurels; call it what you want, but there is no denying there has been an appearance of complacency. The perception is this team needed a shake-up, one that will bring more accountability.
This obviously doesn’t apply to everybody in the locker room, but it is applicable to many of the core members of the team.
The group of Backes, Oshie, Perron and Berglund has already gotten two coaches fired because of what many have seen as a lack of maturity or lack of responsibility.
Andy Murray was hired in 2006 to bring some order to a young team. The method worked for a while, but eventually the players felt Murray went to the whip too often and he lost them.
The organization then brought in a player’s coach, Davis Payne, but accountability was lacking. Ken Hitchcock may be the best bench boss for this team, but there is a type of accountability that a coach can’t provide.
Management is stepping in by making a trade, but what the team really needs is veteran leadership that can fill a void that coaches can’t.
The Blues are still learning how to win. Experienced leadership may just be the missing piece that helps this team reach the next level.