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A Blues Revival
MICHAEL FARBER
November 12, 2007
In a year's time a new management trio has transformed a rock-bottom team into a winner—and a hot ticket—in St. Louis
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November 12, 2007

A Blues Revival

In a year's time a new management trio has transformed a rock-bottom team into a winner—and a hot ticket—in St. Louis

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Kariya was drawn to rebuilding St. Louis at least in part because of Murray, who led Canada to the gold medal at the 2007 world championships and is a candidate to coach the host country's Olympic team at the 2010 Games in Vancouver, Kariya's hometown. (There is nothing wrong in having an advocate in high places for Kariya, a two-time Olympian who was not selected to play last year in Turin.) He remains, in Davidson's words, "a professional's professional" who, in the second half of his career, seems to be extracting more of the fun from hockey without sacrificing his trademark studiousness and preparation. Each day he asks Mike Caruso, the vice president of public relations, "What are you doing today to help the St. Louis Blues to win the Stanley Cup?"

"I'm on the ice, coaching my kid's team," Caruso said when Kariya called him last month.

"I don't see how that's helping the Blues win the Stanley Cup."

"Well, what are you doing right now?"

"I'm driving home."

"And how exactly is that helping the Blues win the Stanley Cup?" Caruso demanded.

"I'm training my eyes. Looking left. Looking right."

The eyes of St. Louis, if not yet the NHL, are being refocused on this franchise. Last year the Blues got some notice, and drew 17,868, for its Jan. 13 free food game against Los Angeles—the approximate cost of 47,000 hot dogs and 22,000 chicken wings, etc., was $250,000—but this season the attention is on something with fewer calories and more substance: workingman's hockey. There will be some bumpy times until St. Louis gets better quarterbacking on the power play and its promising defense matures, but the big picture, like the one on the office wall, looks fine.

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