After trading away Ryan Reaves, the St. Louis Blues made it known that they were looking for a new tough player who could help fill the enforcer role vacated by Reaves. The answer came through Chris Thorburn who signed a two-year deal worth an affordable annual cap hit of $900,000 per year.
Some may be quick to point at Thorburn as a direct replacement for Reaves, but that’s not very accurate and not a comparison Thorburn is looking to make.
Thorburn is well aware of the impact and respect Reaves carried with the team and he’s not trying to replicate or mimic what Reaves accomplished.
Here are some comments from Thorburn, via STLToday:
“I’m not going in there trying to replace Ryan Reaves. I know how much he meant to the organization. He’s got a great personality just from the little bit that I know about him. The game has gone away from the old-school fighting, but sticking up for your teammates is important and that’s something that I’m always willing to do.
I’m just going in there to be my own person and hopefully I get accepted right away and no comparisons to Ryan Reaves because I know how good of a player he is as well as how tough he really is. For me, it’s just an opportunity that opened up and I’m looking forward to it.”
Thorburn also expressed that he was “humbled” by the interest shown his way by the Blues.
So far, those are the exact type of comments you’d hope to hear from a new player taking on a similar (though different) role left behind by a player fans loved. Reaves wasn’t just an enforcer and that’s a fact Thorburn appears to recognize.
Hopefully, if the Blues are lucky, Thorburn won’t be just an enforcer either.