Wanna blog? Start your own hockey blog with My HockeyBuzz. Register for free today!

Blues Turn Page On Palushaj

March 3, 2010, 10:01 AM ET [ Comments]
Andy Strickland
St Louis Blues Blogger •1380 ESPN • RSSArchiveCONTACT
I think some fans are slightly shocked that the St. Louis Blues have so quickly moved on from a player who was so highly regarded just a few short months ago.

When you think about Aaron Palushaj, a former 2nd round pick out of Michigan, you think about a player the organization had categorized as a big part of the future moving forward.

I’ll never forget members of the management staff raving about Palushaj’s performance during past prospect camps and most recently last September’s training camp. Palushaj was so impressive during camp the Blues rewarded him by playing him in an NHL exhibition game.

Then reality set in.

Palushaj is gifted with superb hands and has some playmaking ability, with that being said there are multiple scouts and hockey people who question if he’ll ever play in the NHL.

One of the first questions I ask nearly every pro scout who has scouted Peoria this season is about the play of Palushaj. I’ve always found it interesting the lack of positive reviews he’s gotten.

I think Palushaj is a great kid but apparently has a longer way to go than even the Blues anticipated when they signed him out of college.

The knock on Palushaj is that he plays small. He’s real shy from the standpoint that he doesn’t welcome the physical aspect of the game like say a Lars Eller does. Palushaj’s lack of desire to get into confrontations is what likely allowed the Blues to second guess his long-term value.

Matt D’Agostini made the NHL primarily because of his competitiveness when you consider he was a 6th round pick. When you look at the Blues prospects coming up in the system you won’t find too many pure goal scorers. The Blues feel D’Agostini can score as his track record in the AHL shows. He also scored 12 goals last season in his first full year in the NHL and the Blues obviously must feel he can help this team make a push for the playoffs.

Things have not been going too well for D’ Agostini this season as his four points in 40 games leaves a lot to be desired. Word is he fell into Montreal Head Coach Jacques Martin’s doghouse and never seemed to find the exit. His ice time was reduced and he’s spent a number of nights watching from the pressbox playing with a team that has had trouble scoring goals..

He’s got some speed and a decent shot and will be given a chance to contribute to a Blues lineup that could use a little offense. He gives the Blues some versatility with his ability to play either wing. Word is he can play center if needed.

It’s amazing how quickly things can change in just a few short months. In just a blink of an eye Palushaj goes from a major part of the future to a guy some feel won’t ever develop into an NHL performer. If a tough adjustment to pro hockey out of college and it goes without saying Palushaj is learning that on the fly.

D’Agostini becomes a restricted free agent at the end of this season.

Rink Rats!

As of midnight last night there is no longer a 23 man roster limit in the NHL. Teams can carry as many players as they choose as long as they remain under the salary cap ceiling.

Blues Clues!

Paul Kariya has not personally told the Blues he doesn’t want to be traded as reported up in Canada. In fact, there have been no trade discussions between the Blues and Kariya whatsoever. The former Canadian Gold Medalist told me earlier this week the Blues have not approached him regarding any trade and he’s focusing on helping the Blues make the playoffs. If they came to him with a trade involving a true Cup contender it would be something Kariya would have to think hard about. As of now there have been no discussions.

Montreal being in on Brad Boyes is news to a Blues source I spoke to early this morning.

Join me tonight at Johnny Mac’s sporting goods on Watson road for Blues Buzz from 6-7. I should have an announcement on my guest shortly.

More to come,

Andy Strickland

[email protected]
Join the Discussion: » Comments » Post New Comment
More from Andy Strickland
» Remembering Pavol Demitra
» Andy Murray Lands Head Coaching Job
» Deadline Coming for Interested Buyers to Place Formal Offers
» Paul Kariya Retires
» NHLPA Investigating Nashville for Sending Out QO's Late