Mikko Rantanen might never get the respect he dese…


Welcome to 10 Insights and Observations. Every Thursday, I’ll use this space to highlight teams, players, storylines, and general musings around the NHL, and perhaps at times, the greater hockey world.

This week we look at players thriving post-waivers, John Tavares winding it back, the criminally underappreciated Mikko Rantanen, the NHL failing its fans with no international hockey and much more.

It was only on September 13 of this year that Jordan Kyrou signed an 8-year, $65-million contract extension with the St. Louis Blues. The extension kicks in next season and will make him, along with Robert Thomas, the highest paid Blues by annual average. Last season he had a breakout year, putting up 75 points in 74 games, along with 9 points (7 goals!) in 12 playoff games. Also, those 75 points surprisingly made him fourth on the team in scoring last season — Ryan O’Reilly, Vladimir Tarasenko and Robert Thomas all passed that mark.

This season, though, isn’t off to quite the same rosey start. He has eight points in 15 games and is a minus-15 (say what you want about plus/minus, but if you’re dash-15 in 15 games, that is bad). Other than Brayden Schenn, his linemates have been a bit of a revolving door of “what will work here?” His shooting percentage is over 12 percent (just below his career average) but he has the 10th worst PDO among regular skaters so far this season.

Perhaps he is starting to climb out of it with three goals and a helper in his last four games (all Blues wins) including an awesome tally against Colorado that stood up as the game winner and another beautiful goal against Chicago a few nights later. This is not the start the Blues envisioned for their season but we can’t count them out this early. We’ve seen before that they’re capable of rebounding from a tough first half. Kyrou getting rolling would help. That PDO in particular will stabilize and Kyrou’s production should follow.

Post-waivers Martinook is thriving


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