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Paul Kariya Retires

June 29, 2011, 8:20 PM ET [ Comments]
Andy Strickland
St Louis Blues Blogger •1380 ESPN • RSSArchiveCONTACT
For more NHL news please visit www.truehockey.com

Congrats to Paul Kariya on his retirement after a terrific NHL career. One of the more explosive offensive players of his era, fans will always remember Kairya as the guy who was drilled by Scott Stevens during the Stanley Cup finals only to return moments later and score one of the more memorable goals in recent years.

From day one he was a great NHL player with exceptional speed and passing ability. He was a serious athlete who was as prepared both physically and mentally as any player I’ve been around. Kariya never got enough credit for how much he did off the ice because he never wanted anyone to know. From major cash donations to hospital visits kariya is a good person who’s much more than just a goal scorer.

He made a lot of money but he also gave a lot away. From the University of Maine to Children’s hospital Kariya took care of those around him.

There were years in Anaheim when Kariya was as big of a household name as there was playing in the NHL. Even though he had some tough years during his days in St.Louis, Kariya made an impact inside the dressing room. He took guys like T.J. Oshie under his wing and along with Keith Tkachuk helped guide a very young club.

You hate seeing players careers end due to injury but Kariya made his mark on the NHL finishing with 989 points in 989 career games.

Oshie Close?

There is zero chance T.J. Oshie receives an offer sheet from another club. Oshie will be signed before he becomes an RFA on Friday. An announcement on an extension is imminent.

Jonathan Cheechoo received a mutual release from the San Jose Sharks and is trying to land a job with an NHL team. The former 50 goal scorer will likely have to settle for a two-way deal. Last season in Worcester he recorded 18 goals and 47 points in 55 games. He knows he needs to get faster and quicker which is why he’s hired a personal trainer and is working out twice a day at the University of Stanford. Representatives for Cheechoo have contacted several teams including the St. Louis Blues.

Ryder to be free…

You can expect Bruins sniper Michael Ryder to be a free agent on Friday. He saw his minutes decline in Boston once veteran Mark Recchi was brought on board. He showed in the playoffs what he’s capable of doing as he can still find the back of the net. I’m wouldn’t completely rule out a return to Boston but Florida may take a hard look as well. His point per minute ratio is rather impressive.

Ian White anyone?

I thought White looked good in San Jose but it appears he will not be returning to the Sharks.

Blues looking at goaltenders?

Sure there are veteran guys like Marty Turco and Michael Leighton available but do they interest GM Doug Armstrong? Ray Emery is likely looking to be a number one and Jaro Halak is settled into that position for now. One thing Ty Conklin brought to the table was the ability to play the puck. I thought the Blues often had an easier time breaking the puck out of the zone when Conklin played as a goaltender with puck skills can help in this area. Playing the puck is not one of Halak’s biggest strengths.

Should the Blues target a goaltender that can play the puck?

I’m not sure a guy like Turco or Leighton would push Halak as one guy(Turco) is a true backup while the other has been a waiver goalie most of his career. There are some other options out there, the question is will Armstrong look for a guy on a two-way or a one-way contract?


There is no reason for Blues fans to get all worked up with the Matt D’Agostini situation. The guy has a very strong arbitration case and there’s a good chance he’d get north of $2 million as a reward. The Blues don’t want to pay that much. The sticking point in the negotiations was almost more about the term than the actual dollars. D’Agostini wants two years and the Blues were only offering one. If he was going to sign a one-year deal he wanted a salary closer to the $1.8-1.9 range. As of a few weeks ago the Blues were offering closer to $1.5. Now we will all sit back and see what his true value will be in free agency.

You can say all you want about the factors that contributed to the season D’Agostini had but at the end of the day the guy scored 20-plus goals in the NHL. The Blues, specifically Armstrong, knows this.

The team is not turning their back on this guy as the two sides will continue talking in hopes of getting a deal done. Obviously if a team gives D’Agostini what he’s looking for he’ll likely move on. Understandably so, the Blues want to pay him for his entire body of work, not just one year.

More to come,
Andy Strickland
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