Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

In Peluso, Blues Add Toughness, Character

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

In Peluso, Blues Add Toughness, Character

Article excerpt

After acquiring finesse and youth, and getting rid of personal favorites Shayne Corson and Brian Noonan in his last two deals, Blues general manager Mike Keenan went back to a tried and true formula Tuesday.

He acquired one of his former players, a veteran with size, toughness and a Stanley Cup on his resume.

Meet Mike Peluso, the newest member of the Blues. The Blues acquired the veteran tough guy and a minor-league defenseman, Ricard Persson, from New Jersey for minor-league defenseman Ken Sutton and the Blues' second-round pick in the 1999 draft. Peluso, 31, broke into the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks under Keenan in the 1989-90 season. He split parts of three seasons between Chicago and its minor-league team in Indianapolis before Keenan left him unprotected in the expansion draft. Ottawa took him, then traded him to New Jersey the next season. Peluso won the Stanley Cup with New Jersey in 1995 and was considered a key part of the team. He's a 6-foot-4, 220-pound winger. In 391 career games over eight seasons, Peluso has 36 goals, 85 points and 1,180 penalty minutes. He led New Jersey with 68 penalty minutes in 20 games this season but had no goals and two assists. "Peluso brings an element of toughness to our team," Keenan said from Anaheim, where the Blues play the Mighty Ducks tonight. "He's a very experienced player who has won the Cup. "He adds a lot to the team in terms of emotional impact. He's a very caring individual and a team player. He adds an element of depth as well. He can play either forward or defense, left wing or right wing." Peluso played left wing in New Jersey on the so-called "Crash Line" with Bobby Holik at center and Randy McKay on right wing. That line energized New Jersey, making this trade hard to understand from the Devils' standpoint. Persson, who was an All-Star defenseman in the American Hockey League, couldn't crack their lineup. It's unlikely that Sutton will either. The second-round pick won't come until 1999, and the player selected won't help the team until the next millennium. "I thought it was a good move for us," Keenan said. The trade cost the Blues nothing in the short term, considering Keenan had no plans for Sutton - a 27-year-old acquired from Edmonton with Igor Kravchuk for Jeff Norton and Donald Dufresne. …

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