Blues' Goaltending Situation

The St. Louis Blues hockey club has been using goalie after goalie after goalie this season. With Brent Johnson getting injured over the summer, Fred Brathwaite, Reinhard Divis, Curtis Sanford and Cody Rudkowsky have all been used thus far. The team, in hopes to fill a temporary hole in the goaltending department, has signed UFA Tom Barrasso, who has played eighteen seasons in the NHL. But now that Fred Brathwaite has returned from injury and Brent Johnson is extremely close to being 100%, who will be the odd-man out?With NHL general managers knowing that one of the three goalies will have to be put on waivers, there will be no trades proposed to the Blues for a goalie.

It is unlikely Tom Barrasso would be put on waivers or traded, since he has just been signed and has not played a single game yet.

Many people believe that the man to be put on waivers would be Fred Brathwaite, the backup to Johnson last season. Brathwaite had a record of 0-1-1 before his injury with a 3.50 GAA. But his save percentage was well over .900. Since returning from injury, Brathwaite has posted a 5-1-0 record (all five wins coming in the Blues’ most recent nine-game winning streak), with one shutout and a GAA of 1.27, showing he really is fighting to stay a Blue. With numbers like that, it would be very hard for the Blues to make a decision.

“Its going to be harder than people think,” tells coach Joel Quenneville, “it’s not a decision set in stone. We have to consider this from every angle.”

Blues management has also all ready stated that when Brent Johnson is ready to play again, he will be the number one man. General manager Larry Pleau tells the St. Louis Post Dispatch this: “Brent (Johnson) is our guy. He is the guy that we will stick with. The matter of who wants to be his backup is up for grabs.” (This quote was made when Barrasso flew into St. Louis for his physical a couple of weeks ago before being actually signed.)

My question is, why do you go ahead and say that this guy is the number one guy? How do you know he will be 100%? How do you know Brathwaite or Barrasso will gracefully step aside without wanting a battle for the number one spot?

With the effort Blues goaltenders have put up this season, competition is a must for Blues hockey. Reinhard Divis will need to clear waivers before being sent to Worcester, the Blues’ AHL affiliate, so he is expected to be out of the picture.

There have been rumors flowing around St. Louis that possibly the Blues would stick with Brathwaite and Barrasso, sending Johnson out. Brathwaite has backstopped many great games, and Barrasso has always proven strong when needed.

Plus, there have been teams who have sent a skater to their farm team to carry three goaltenders. If the Blues were to do this, they could say to the other thirty NHL teams that if they want a Blues’ goaltender, they must try to make a deal for one of them.

I believe that the Blues should do this option, (I do not know if this would even be an option. Since the rosters widen around playoff time, that might be when the teams carry three goalies). Trading Johnson could get the Blues any kind of player they may want; a high draft pick, any kind of forward or even a defenseman.

Either way, a Blues goaltender will be packing his bags and on to another NHL city this season, so GMs will be watching this team very carefully. Reinhard Divis is expected to be nabbed up right away but the next man out of St. Louis is still unknown.

~Jeff P.

8 Responses to Blues' Goaltending Situation

  1. titans says:

    Ya know what? I like Sicilian Pizza more than regular pizza. Sicilian pizza…mmmmmm.

  2. titans says:

    Cody Rudowsky a former Trenton Titan!!!

  3. pantherboy says:

    I say they should just keep three goalies up with them. Just on most of the nights have Barasso as a healthy scratch. Just keep him around as kind of like a goalie coach to Brathwaite and Johnston.

  4. ProngerBlues44 says:

    Barrasso has been known to blowup to his team. If he gets signed by a team and is just kept there to play 3rd string, he will get fed up and call a retirement in the middle of the season. That screws with someone’s head, you don’t want to to do that to someone.

    ~Jeff P.

  5. jammer21 says:

    now its a known fact to anyone who has read any of your articles or comments concerning blues goaltending that you hate brent johnson. but barrasso and brathwaite over johnson?????? where did you hear that?????that would be insanity. on the other hand,if they lose divis they are IDIOTS, cause this kid is the most talented of the bunch. there was good reason to sign barrasso, but he is unnecessary now, and if he doesn’t like where the blues put him, T.S. he did not exactly tear it up last year, and since brathwaite FINALLY figured out how to play goal for the blues, tom is an unnecessary commodity. trde his old ass!!!! (I could have backstopped the barrasso’s two penguins teams to the cup, its not like this guy was ever really that good….)

  6. ProngerBlues44 says:

    I never said I hated Brent Johnson. We all know Freddy was never really given a chance last season. The management said it was a fight for the starting position, but we all know Johnson was selected #1 right from the get-go. I don’t hate Johnson, I just don’t like the way management has handled his bringing-up.

    And I don’t know about getting rid of Johnson. My words were that the Blues should keep on 3 goalies and force other NHL teams to a trade instead of a waiver pick-up. I just said Johnson because there have been people talking about the kind of talent we could recieve for the #1 guy in St. Louis.

    And losing Divis is almost a guarantee. We really have no choice in this matter, since he will have to be on waivers due to the NHL roster rules. I really do not want to lose him either, look what happened with the last goalie we lost who had tremendous talent (Dwayne Roloson). The Blues have no choice in the matter, and that really blows.

    ~Jeff P.

  7. jammer21 says:

    all apologies for the misunderstanding,but i disagree on the divis point. there are too many people in th organization that think he IS the best of the goalies we have. the note will DEFINITELY let brathwaite or barrasso go on waivers before divis, believe me….or just wait and see. and i think they will carry three goalies as you suggested, at least for a while, until they can trade one or two.

  8. ProngerBlues44 says:

    thats what I love about Blues fans…. we have a head! We know whats goin on in our organization.

    Certainly Divis is not the second coming, but he is a great goalie. Its jsut that if Quenneville wants to keep up his veterans, Divis has to be sent down. And if that happens, waivers is inevitable. I say make a trade RIGHT NOW for one of your veteran goalies and then carry Divis with the other two veterans left. Maybe we can ride that out until the off-season, who knows.

    ~Jeff P.

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