What a sad state of affairs Manny Legace’s season has turned out to be. It wasn’t just the display of immaturity over the last week or the bad stretch of game in the last month. The true source of his demise actually goes back further than that, to the exact moment last season when he suffered that meniscus tear. Since then, the entire balance of Legace’s game has been upset, quite possibly marking the beginning of the end to his career.
I warned about Legace’s value dropping due to the ill effects of the meniscus injury, citing that his timing would be an issue. And even though he started off the season with four straight wins, it was only a matter of time before a pair of groin/hip injuries and a concussion would combine with the lingering effects from the meniscus injury to pull his game into a downward spiral. Injuries led to inconsistency and that led to his frustration boiling over in a penultimate game, which ironically came against his former team.
On the surface, Legace going on waivers may come as a big surprise. He’s still a valuable commodity for other NHL teams, right? Well, that may be the case, but regardless of his supposed value, the Blues organization felt they could afford to make the move thanks to their prized prospects Chris Holt, Ben Bishop and even Jake Allen. Besides, they went out and signed Predators outcast Chris Mason just in case something like this would go down with Legace.
Since losing his first two games in January, Mason has only allowed nine goals over the last eight games. He led the Blues to a 5-1-2 run in that stretch and has re-claimed a starting job on a team fighting for the playoffs. It’s funny how things work, as Mason’s value is quite enticing and for good reason. There’s no counting him or the Blues out when it comes to the playoff push in the Western Conference, so if the Blues can continue to gain momentum, look for Mason to continue posting great statistics down the stretch.
So with all of these outside forces working against Legace, it actually comes as no surprise that he was placed on waivers. Let’s face it, former NHL goalie John Davidson won’t condone that type of attitude or weak play from a veteran starter, especially when the team is trying to make the playoffs. Legace’s antics were simple unacceptable.
“He has not had a good season,” Blues president John Davidson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch last week. “We just need him to find his game. I’m hoping if he clears waivers, he will go to Peoria and really play well – and I sincerely mean that.