Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Big Mac Wasn't the Whopper Blues Need

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Big Mac Wasn't the Whopper Blues Need

Article excerpt

With the Cardinals avoiding a championship at all costs, or at much cost, anyway, it's hard to boo the Blues for chasing Marty McSorley.

Having said that, the Blues lucked out by failing in this caper.

McSorley, a Los Angeles Kings defenseman, was a free agent without compensation. The Blues signed him to a five-year contract for $10 million. The Kings matched the deal and sent the popular lug to Pittsburgh. Thank goodness.

Oh, the Blues can use an adept ruffian. And signing McSorley was a publicity coup, a salve for fans sore from another steep ticket hike.

So the Blues wind up without McSorley but with a free A-for-effort. So what's wrong with that?

Nothing, general manager Ron Caron said. As the Professor put it: "If you studied philosophy, maybe you've heard of future-abilities, which means situations dealing with people that could have caused results, but due to the fact that it didn't happen, the only way you could look at it was intentions."

Well, intentions show that the club hasn't learned from its mistakes.

Caron disputed that, saying, "I hope we're trying not to capture the mistakes of the future."

On that note, he responded to a brief critique of the McSorley caper.

Point 1: McSorley would not patch the club's major hole.

The Blues desperately need to stifle the shots against beleaguered Curtis Joseph, the busiest goalie in the National Hockey League.

To do this, they need to play in the other team's end. To do this, they need defensemen to move the puck up. McSorley doesn't help there.

Rebuttal 1: "If we kick the puck forward, and catch it, and move it around, you have a better chance," Caron said. "But I don't disagree. McSorley's not Bobby Orr. Let's not get confused. First of all, he shoots right. But McSorley would cost the Blues basically nothing, per se.

"We thought it would be a good chance to recover in total, or close to total, the leadership and strength when Scott Stevens left us."

Point 2: McSorley would cause more problems than he solves.

Only a few skilled stars earn $2 million a year in the NHL. McSorley's pay would cause cracks in the Blues' morale. He would rank second here, ahead of 50-goal scorer Brendan Shanahan and behind Brett Hull. …

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