Two years ago it appeared that Carlo Colaiacovo‘s days in St. Louis were numbered. Coming off two solid seasons with the Blues the Toronto native appeared to be on his way to Buffalo, Tampa Bay, or Long Island. Maybe it was contract demands or concerns over his brief career marred by injuries that deterred league wide interest… either way the market dried up and No. 28 returned to the club who gave him a real shot a redemption.
The story is not the same today.
With the third lockout in as many Collective Bargining Agreements looming it seems as if Coliacovo thought it best to compromise this time around. Supposedly he was searching for a three year deal. Instead the long rumored two year deal with the Detroit Red Wings finally became fact on Friday. As one of the Blues’ most bitter rivals announced that Colaiacovo agreed to the shorter term for a total contract value of $5 million.
Colaiacovo told the media that this is ““opportunity of a lifetime for me.”
How right he is.
It became clear that the Blues lacked interest in bringing back the veteran blueliner. Though he was a serviceable parter for top defender Alex Pietrangelo, Colaiacovo had peaked and did not represent a viable long term option compared to who had already solidified spots (Pietrangelo, Shattenkirk, Jackman, Polak). Further, the time had finally come for the organization to see what another mid-first round pick could do. Former Norte Dame standout Ian Cole had been banging on the door and he was finally being let in. To make room someone has to go. Besides Kent Huskins at least.
Bottomline: Contract demands didn’t match up with the Blues’ evaluation of performance justifying a role equal to pay.
Even though Detroit appears to be on the decline with the retirement of the greatest defenseman to play the game not named Bobby Orr — Nik Lidstrom — when an Original Six franchise with the track record of the Wings comes calling, you don’t tap the Decline button. They’re still a legitimate playoff contender with Nik Kronwall anchoring the backend along with netminder Jimmy Howard and the dynamic duo — Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg — up front. Take the money and run to that midnight train because another one isn’t going to show up anytime soon.
In parts of four seasons with the Blues the 17th overall pick of the 2001 draft (Toronto) appeared in 259 regular season games while accumulating 18 goals, 106 points, 134 PIMs, and a Plus-13 rating. He also dressed for 11 of the 13 playoff contests the Blues participated in while with the team and registered just 3 assists. In 370 career NHL games he has amassed 30 goals and 139 points.