After the Blues lost 6-3 in an ugly game to the Colorado Avalanche Monday night, Versus debuted their new show, NHL Overtime. This new installment is a Sportscenter-type show designed just for the NHL, and has feature analysts give commentary on that night’s games. The premier of the show placed Bill Patrick as the host of the show, while Billy Jaffe and Bill Guerin were the commentators. While Jaffe poked at Guerin and said that he was “quasi-retired,” I couldn’t help but think that this guy needs to take off the suit and put #13 on his back. He even stated later in the broadcast that he is “not recently retired.”
Would he be a good fit for the Blues? He did put up 21 goals last season on the high-flying Pittsburgh Penguins. Turning 40 last week, Guerin has had an illustrious career, scoring 20 or more goals 10 times over his 17-NHL season career. Brad Boyes, Andy McDonald and David Backes haven’t exactly been lighting up the score-sheet, and injuries to top-offensive producers T.J. Oshie and David Perron really point at getting some offensive help. It couldn’t hurt. After all, the Blues have just nine goals in their last four games played, which have all been losses.
Guerin’s power-play presence is a must too. He has been known to play the point, which allows him to take booming shots from the blue line. He has 130 total power-play goals, and has been counted on as the power-play quarterback many times in his career.A veteran in the locker room could not hurt either. The Blues’ oldest forward is 32 year old Andy McDonald and the second oldest is Brad Winchester at 29 years of age; that is hardly veteran experience. When going on a mudslide from a seven-game winning streak to a four-game winless streak, a veteran in the locker room can do nothing but good things. Guerin has been on some top-NHL teams (New Jersey in the mid-1990s, Dallas in the early-2000s) as well as some pretty sub-par teams (St. Louis in 2006-07, New York Islanders from 2006-2009). He has been through the ups-and-downs as much as anybody in the league.
But this acquisition may not come without a fight though. Rumors are that things did not end well in St. Louis for Guerin. Supposedly, the right-winger was in talks with Blues President John Davidson and General Manager Larry Pleau over signing a new contract extension just before the 2007 NHL trade deadline. Unfortunately, talks fell through and Guerin was traded to the Sharks.
"We had some discussions," Guerin said after being traded in 2007. "We didn’t get into negotiations or anything like that . . . just very candid discussions. It was nothing . . . I don’t want to say serious because it’s all serious . . . but we didn’t get down to the nitty-gritty or anything like that."
This was many years ago though, and it seems that Guerin might be getting desperate right about now. He is still claiming that he can play, and who would doubt him? He still looks like he is in great shape and he was still good enough to play on the top line last year in Pittsburgh. He was even given a training camp-tryout with the Flyers to start the season, but the Flyers decided to part ways with Guerin in the final days of camp.
So why not give him a shot? Offer him a one-year, $1 million contract, and get him on the ice instantly. If things don’t work out, he won’t be making that much money and you can send him packing on waivers. If he stays unclaimed, he can remain as a healthy scratch and the Blues still won’t be anywhere near the maximum salary cap.
Right now, the Blues are in a world of hurt and need to find some relief somewhere. Bill Guerin may be where to find it. After all, he was the one bright spot for the boys in blue just a few years ago. Maybe he could find a way to shine again.