Blues News & Notes

By Chris DeGroat

Sour Contract Negotiations Becoming the Norm for the Blues

In what is becoming a disturbing trend, rough contract negotiations with prospects have already begun this summer. Last year it was John Pohl and Marc Brown. This year it’s goaltender Reinhard Divis, defenseman Trevor Byrne, and now it sounds like University of New Hampshire forward Colin Hemingway feels like he’s getting low-balled too.

Byrne is said to be looking for a deal similar to what the Sabres’ Doug Janik and the Canadiens’ Chris Dyment received and according to the Worcester Telegram, Blues management is telling him to come to camp and try out since negotiations are so far apart. Adding an additional spin to the situation, there is word out of Dartmouth that Byrne has applied for law school. It’s not known if he is considering giving up hockey or if he’s just doing a little posturing.

Pohl to the NHL next season? Riddle to stay at Minnesota

Ted Hampson, the Blues’ Direct of Player Evaluation, recently told Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune that John Pohl will be given a good chance to make the Blues out of camp in the fall.

“Pohl is a very smart hockey player,” said Hampson of the Blues’ 1998 8th round pick.

Hampson also said that the Blues would prefer that Troy Riddle return to the University of Minnesota for his senior season. Coming off two straight National Championships, Riddle may have wanted to move on to the next level especially if linemate Thomas Vanek, who will go early in June’s draft, decides to move on to the NHL level.

Jonsson Wins Battle With Cancer

Färjestad’s (SEL) GM Håkan Loob reported in a Swedish Newspaper that Robin Jonsson, who was diagnosed with cancer in late October, has won the battle with the disease and will be moving up to the SEL next season to play for Loob’s squad.

Jonsson was drafted in the 4th round, 120th overall, of the 2002 draft by the Blues.

Random News & Notes

Simon Skoog, the Blues’ 9th round pick in 2001, will be moving up to HV 71 of the SEL next season. But his ice time may be limited since he could be the 6th or 7th defenseman on the team… Blues Calder Trophy finalist Barret Jackman turned down the offer to play for the Canadian WC squad… Recent free agent signing, Peter Sejna and Pohl are the only two Blues prospects playing in the WC’s.

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