When I was an Atlanta Thrashers season ticket holder, these kinds of e-mails were common. Team President and General Manager Don Waddell was a pro at sending out e-mails explaining off-season acquisitions, wishing people Merry Christmas right before the annual January implosion, and explaining why he traded franchise players.
Usually when you get a mass e-mail from anyone in the front office of a team, it's a PR stunt (or in the Thrashers case, an announcement that your team's moving to Winnipeg) to try to make you feel better about the product on-ice. Blues fans, and especially season ticket holders, have been concerned about the penny-pinching ways that the team tends to have. Whether or not these acquisitions are helpful, many people equate "big name signing" with "we want to win." Blues President John Davidson did a little damage control/Jamie Langenbrunner-Jason Arnott hype.
As we come to the end of a very busy and productive six weeks, I wanted to reach out to you and share some of the excitement we are feeling about our team as we move closer to the start of the 2011-12 season. I know I speak on behalf of the entire Blues organization when I say how pleased we are with the shape our roster has taken with not only our recent signings, but also the commitment our players have made with their off season training and development. I look at this team and see more depth than we have had since I became a part of this organization, depth that will be crucial as we battle our way through a very difficult 82 game schedule.
Over the past six weeks, General Manager Doug Armstrong has done an outstanding job of identifying key free agents that will improve our club. These signings, along with the signing of our own free agents, have added depth at every position, protecting ourselves from injury and adding a level of competition amongst our players. We remain focused on building our team by developing talent from within and strengthening our roster with every move we make.
When I think of the young skill on our roster (Berglund, D’Agostini, Halak, Oshie, Perron, Pietrangelo, Shattenkirk and Stewart) and combine them with our leaders (Backes, Jackman, McDonald, Steen and now Arnott, Langenbrunner and Nichol), I wish the season opened tomorrow. We identified areas for improvement after last season and made specific steps to address those points, from size and leadership to grit and penalty killing. We have brought in people who have won Stanley Cups and this team is poised to play a very exciting brand of hockey because of it. With Davis Payne we have one of the best young coaches in the game, I really look forward to him bringing this group together.
I might add that because of my job I get to see all the arenas in the NHL, and the game night experience we offer our fans at Scottrade Center is truly among the best—everybody always has a terrific time.
We are expecting the 2011-12 season of Blues hockey to be one of the most exciting in our history, with all the elements in place to be a truly outstanding team. The unbeatable atmosphere and fan support consistently makes Scottrade Center one of the most exciting buildings in the NHL, and we look forward to seeing you in the stands this October.
Thank you for your continued support; we are thrilled to have you as part of our organization once again.
Can't really find too much to nitpick in that. It's honest, it does a fine job explaining what the Blues have as their plan this year, and it tells fans exactly what the team's intent was over this off-season. Free-agent signings, regardless of if they're good or not, always have an air of legitimacy when explained by the front office. It's also helpful that, with good signings and a good explanation, fans get a sense of competency from the people who run their team.
John Davidson and Doug Armstrong display that competency very nearly every off-season, through acquisitions and the draft. E-mails like this just go on to reinforce that.