Earlier today I was scrolling through my google reader and came across a post from the ever awesome Hockey Broad. For today’s post, she details her plan to feature all thirty NHL teams leading into the season with each of those posts highlighting a fan from that particular fan base. I figured that even if I don’t get chosen, this is a pretty fun survey. I also thought that I might as well post it for you here. I know you’re excited. Here we go.
1. What is your favorite team?
St Louis Blues
2. How long/approximately how long have you been a fan of this team?
I’ve been a fan for almost two years now, which is fairly short in the grand scheme of things.
3. Feel free to talk about anything about your fandom for this answer: just how big of a fan are you?; how you came to be a fan; a special memory about your team; meeting a favorite player, etc.
One of my favorite memories was actually not even during a game. Though I’m not a season ticket holder (yet), a friend of mine was able to get ahold of tickets to get into the STH festival the Blues hold every year. The year I went, it was a giant carnival complete with blow up games, and players stationed all over Scottrade signing autographs and taking pictures. I was still a very new fan, and knew I liked watching these guys play, but meeting them and chit-chatting with a couple of them helped me make a personal connection with the team that I hadn’t had with any other sport. It was also fairly cool to see one of my pictures with Cam Janssen end up on the front of the STH booklet for this season.
3. Which player that your team signed/acquired this summer are you most excited to see take the ice this season?
It’s actually a combination of Langenbrunner and Arnott. Both signings were announced on the same day, and they both addressed serious needs the Blues had in both forward depth and veteran status. I can’t wait to see the affect they’ll have on the team both on and off the ice.
4. Taking into consideration your team’s performance last year/recently, and any player/personnel (coaches, GMs, ownership) changes made in the past few months, talk about your team in 2011-2012: How do you think they’ve improved (or made worse)? What do they need to work on? If the team has lost their captain, who do you think will wear the “C” next? Discuss anything related to your team’s performance for the 2011-12 season, good or bad.
At this point the Blues have a lot of pretty looming questions. We don’t know who will get the “C,” we don’t know who will own the team, we don’t know when or if David Perron will come back, we don’t know how the new guys will fit in, and we don’t know if the team can stay healthy all season long. That said, I am (cautiously) optimistic with the team. Armstrong has been able to acquire players that addressed needs while still taking into consideration the possibility that Perron wouldn’t be available (which it’s nearly certain he won’t be). They signed guys who are absolute work-horses, who are willing to put in some serious ice time as well as provide a veteran mentality that the team, which before the end of the season had an average age of 23, hasn’t had a lot of experience with. They picked up goalie Brian Elliott, who is going to have to compete with Ben Bishop for the backup job, and given last season, both goalies should know just how quickly that backup job could be taken away.
The competition that they created within the team will motivate every single guy out there, new and old, because if they don’t work, they don’t play. Not to mention the many number of guys hanging out in Peoria, a measly couple hours away, just waiting to get in with the big club and prove they can stay. Along with all that, the contracts (or lack thereof) to the current roster made a huge statement. TJ Oshie only got a year-long extension, which sent an unmistakably clear message to him. Get your act together, or don’t get paid. I think he will finally show us the Oshie we’ve been waiting a couple years to see (for the full 82 games). The way the Blues started the 2010-11 season I think speaks volumes to what this team is capable of if they stay healthy. The key will be to push through and still win even if those injuries occur again.
Since we can’t predict the future about the health of the players on the ice though, it seems like Blues fans everywhere have pretty much one question on their mind. We’re not curious about who will own the team. We don’t pay to see the owners. We want to know who the Captain will be, and I’d be willing to put money on the fact that the LARGE majority of us would like to see David Backes take the honor. He’s been the leader in our eyes for ages, even before Brewer was traded to the Lightning. He was the man who received All-Star honors right on the coat tails of being able to play for the United States in the 2010 Olympics. He’s the player who was at the Blues table during the draft. He’s who’s mentioned first in Blues articles just about everywhere. He is my number one choice for Captain, hands down.
Though there are so many unanswered questions, they’re ones that we’ll only have to wait a little longer to get answers to. Hockey season is taking too long to get here.
5. Whether or not you think your team will make the playoffs, where do you predict your team will place within their conference? (1st-15th)
6. What was your favorite moment for your team last season?
Watching them beat Detroit 10-3, which included a Cam Janssen goal. It was a ridiculously fun game to watch.