Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues' Cracknell Still Fighting for a Job

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues' Cracknell Still Fighting for a Job

Article excerpt

When you get selected in the ninth round of the NHL draft, when you are the 279th player taken overall, you don't forget where you came from. Or where you're going.

"I still come in here with the same attitude, try to make the team," said Blues winger Adam Cracknell, originally drafted by Calgary in 2004. "I think the contract was a reward for all the years, being up and down, and proving myself. But now I have to prove they made the right decision."

True enough, the hill Cracknell's climbing is a little different this time around. He's in Blues camp carrying something he's never had before security. He signed a one-way contract after last season that will pay him $600,000.

And yet, things aren't very much different at all. "I'm still the same," Cracknell said. "I'm still looking for a cheap place to live."

Cracknell is 28 now. He's been up and down more often than the ocean tide. He's played in 46 NHL games, 20 of them last season, 24 in 2010-11, and only two in the season in between. He's also skated for the Kooteny Ice, the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights, Las Vegas Wranglers, Quad City Flames and Peoria Rivermen.

If everybody wants to know why Cracknell is with the Blues, it's because he's been around a long time, and he's paid his dues. Sounds like a song, eh?

But after all that due diligence, Cracknell made an impression last season that could not be ignored. He underlined his value with two goals that helped the Blues rally to a 4-3 victory over Chicago on March 4.

He elevated a line with Chris Porter and Ryan Reaves that became perhaps the Blues' most impactful group during a playoff series with Los Angeles. At 6 feet 2, 210 pounds, Cracknell added size, energy, grit and smarts. When the season ended, he was rewarded with his one- way deal.

"I've got my foot in the door, now I've got to get both feet in and stay in," Cracknell said. …

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