It's almost time to close the door on 2013. It's been a pretty interesting calendar year. We saw the lockout end, Vladimir Tarasenko make his debut and a ton of interesting transactions and stories throughout the past year.
Which were some of the best and most memorable stories from 2013?
As always, feel free to offer your own opinions in the comments section.
The Lockout Ends
Even though the lockout never should have happened in the first place, the end of the work stoppage was worth celebrating. Tom Stillman even apologized to fans for a lockout he played almost no role in. The beginning of the 2012-13 season was delayed, but it marked a new era for the Blues with a new and dedicated owner.
Vladimir Tarasenko's Debut
There was some concern that Tarasenko would stay in the KHL after the lockout. Thankfully all of that talk proved to just be speculation and Tarasenko arrived and made an immediate impact.
Later that game...
What a debut. This also led to the creation of this GIF which is arguably the best thing to come out of 2013.
Frozen Notes Joins Bloguin
Off the ice, this site went through some big changes in 2013. Frozen Notes joined Bloguin after being an independent site for several years. This partnership meant a new look and feel to a site desperately needing one. If you're a long-term reader, you may remember the limitations of the old site and the clunky layout and scheme of the old site.
As a bit of a teaser, more changes are coming. Look for a new design and look in the near future.
Peoria Rivermen Sold
The Blues have struggled financially for about as long as anyone can remember. The old owners weren't very savvy financially (though they sure knew how to lie about attendance), and the new group found a pretty ugly situation when they signed on. In an effort to cut expenses and shift more money towards the team, the Blues sold the Peoria Rivermen. It was a sad time in Peoria, but the city eventually obtained a new team from the SPHL.
Blues Acquire Jordan Leopold
There were a couple noteworthy trades in 2013. The first was Leopold. Though he's not the big name the Blues ended up trading for later (spoiler alert: Jay Bouwmeester), he proved to be a reliable and important piece of the team's defense.
Shocker: Blues Acquire Jay Bouwmeester
This trade is still pretty shocking. Under the old owners, this trade never happens. The new group has committed to the club and has agreed to a payroll that sits just under the salary cap. Bouwmeester boosted an already impressive defense which featured Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk.
David Backes Mocks Zack Kassian's Hairline
Blues Partner with Chicago Wolves of AHL
After selling the Peoria Rivermen, the Blues created a partnership with the Chicago Wolves to become their new AHL affiliate. The jury is still out on how this relationship has gone to date, but it's clear that the St. Louis prospects are skating in a competitive environment.
Alexander Steen Robs Jonathan Quick
Barret Jackman's Late Game 2 Winner
Unfortunately, this is where the good times ended during the 2012-13 season.
Ryan Reaves' Best Fights
Reaves' fights from 2013-14 will be in a future compilation, but for now you can enjoy his best scraps from the abbreviated 2012-13 season.
Scott Nichol, Andy McDonald Retire
Sad to see these two go. McDonald appeared to have a bit more left in the tank, but concussions issues forced him to leave the game a bit earlier than expected. McDonald's retirement signaled a changing of the guard in St. Louis as the team brought in new weapons.
Derek Roy Signs
What a great addition this has been. The Blues desperately needed help up front and several other free agents passed on the team. Roy took the plunge and has since helped turn the Blues into one of the best offensive teams in the NHL.
New Deals for Leopold, Shattenkirk and Pietrangelo
The Blues spent a ton of money in 2013. There was some debate that the team wouldn't be able to afford all of their players (particularly Pietrangelo), but at the end of the day the Blues were able to retain all of their big names.
David Perron Traded
It was sad to see Perron go, but the move made sense. The Blues needed to free up some money for the big contracts they had handed out and Perron was one of the more obvious choices. They also received a pretty decent player in Magnus Paajarvi. The trade of just one player shook up not only the lineup, but also the mentality in St. Louis and I believe it's for the better.
A Fun Blues Craft
This might be one of the best posts on Frozen Notes in 2013. Friend of the blog Gregg Zimmer showed all of us how to make a really cool St. Louis Blues art piece using some basic materials and melted crayons.
Full instructions on how to make your own.
Blues Picked as Cup Favorites
Plenty of media outlets picked the Blues as their favorite to hoist the Cup. Even some respectable outlets. Will the Blues be able to live up to their billing? Stay tuned.
T.J. Oshie's Shootout Move
David Backes said that he couldn't even do this move on his PlayStation.
Jaroslav Halak's Toe Save
This was ridiculous.
David Backes Donates $24,000 of Equipment to Kids
As if you needed another reason to love Backes, he donated $24,000 worth of hockey equipment to kids.
Carlo Colaiacovo Returns
Colaiacovo returning to St. Louis was almost as surprising as the Bouwmeester trade. Well, not really, but it was pretty shocking. After the Blues parted with the defenseman and he signed with Detroit, it looked like we could all move on from the Glass Carlo experience. Carlo then parted ways with Detroit and was without a team. The Blues needed depth and thus the relationship was rekindled.
Oh, and this is a top moment because it gave all of us an excuse to use this GIF again. Enough said.
Patrik Berglund's No-Timer
Berglund tries the one-timer! It's not very effective.
12 Days of Christmas
The year saw plenty of ups and downs, but it's nice to see the club can still poke some fun at itself.
Epic Comeback Against Chicago
You probably knew this list was going to end this way. The December 28th comeback against Chicago was one of the craziest games I've ever seen. Despite numerous injuries and some disgusting defense, the Blues pulled out two points.
A big "thank you" to all of the readers who stopped by in 2013. I sincerely appreciate all of the time the regular and casual readers have spent here. Here's to bigger and better things in 2014!