St Louis Blues to name new Captain
For the first time in his professional career, Ryan O’Reilly will wear the “C.” The St. Louis Blues release a video and story on stlouisblues.com naming him the 23rd full-time captain in franchise history. Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic broke the news earlier this week.
Since becoming a St. Louis Blue on July 3rd, 2018, O’Reilly has endeared himself to both teammates and fans alike. Not long after a blockbuster trade brought O’Reilly to St. Louis, he had a phone call with GM Doug Armstrong. Ryan expressed his excitement and hunger to win a cup. “Now let’s go win a cup” were the first words he uttered to Armstrong.
The mindset and work ethic that O’Reilly brought to the organization was evident from the moment he walked in the doors. His willingness to mentor young players and the tenaciousness he showed on the ice are the reasons he won the Selke, Conn Smyth, and Lady Byng trophies. His leadership is without question and he will be the Captian this team needs.
During the beginning of the 2018-2019 season, the Blues looked lost and discombobulated. while the losses piled up the cries from the fan base for O’Reilly to wear the “C” got louder and louder. In every game, O’Reilly’s presence was felt by the opposing team and cheered by the faithful in the stands.
The departure of Alex Pietrangelo to the Vegas Golden Knight via free agency left the captaincy vacant many felt only O’Reilly could fill it.
The Blues released a Twitter post on Tuesday 22 December announcing “tomorrow.” the tweet showed a picture of a Blues jersey with the “C” attached.
O’Reilly said “The culture that has been built here started with guys working hard, being committed, and being responsible for each other. I know I want that to continue, and I know the leadership group wants that to continue. We want to represent the city of St. Louis and this organization well.”
O’Reilly the Peoples choice for Captian
“I think we will.”
ROR, as he is called by fans, is not only the GM and Coaches choice. He is the people’s choice.
The Athletic asked fans who would be the Blues’ next captain, and with 2,133 responses, 53.8 percent (1,147) chose O’Reilly. Schwartz was the runner-up, receiving 19.9 percent (425).
With the departure of Alex Pietrangelo, which Blues player should wear the ‘C’ next?
O’Reilly a second-round pick of the Colorado Avalanche in 2009 had only reached the playoffs twice in his time with the Avalanche. A 2015 trade sent him to Buffalo. His Streak of not making the playoffs continued.
After the trade to St. Louis O’Reilly felt as if he was losing his love of the game and started to wonder if the losses were because of him.
I am guessing he does not think that way anymore. The first half of 2018 must-have cemented those negative thoughts in his mind. The story is GM Doug Armstrong came up to O’Reilly after another tough loss and told him to trust in the process.
While the losing continued, so did O’Reilly’s now-famous work ethic. he was the first to be on the ice and he would stay after to work with younger players like Robert Thomas, Ivan Barbashev, and Jorden Kyrou. Veteran players like David Perron and Brayden Schenn also benefited from his steady mindset.
The Journey for O’Reilly has been a long one filled with a lot of pitfalls and obstacles in the way. His never-quit spirit and his willingness to not be outworked, have paid off time and time again.
O”Reilly is the right choice at the right time! The Blues are in a bit of a transition, however the window to add a second or third championship is still very viable. It is my opinion, he is the type of person you want leading this team.
Guy “Hawaii Blues Fan” Bensing