Something to Smile At...

I noticed today that the St. Louis Blues signed former WBS Penguin & San Antonio Rampage winger, Cam Paddock, to a three year, NHL-AHL deal. I couldn't help but smile because the kid just signed the biggest contract of his career so far (I would argue anyway), and he completely deserves it. It all comes down to work ethic.

Paddock started out his pro career in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization playing mostly in the ECHL in Wheeling. He's seen time in Wilkes-Barre, Phoenix (ECHL) and spent his first full year in the AHL this past season with San Antonio.

Paddock was not born with God-given hockey skills like guys like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were. Those guys are natural hockey talents. Cam never was. He's had to work his whole life to get to where he is. Along the way he's worked harder than some guys who have regular spots in the NHL. That's something that's always bothered me; the fact that there are some guys in the NHL who work half as hard as some guys who battle and battle and haven't gotten as close.

He had a breakout year last season, scoring his first AHL goal (along with 11 more) and totaling 25 points. This may not seem like a lot to some people, but he's not necessarily going to be a goal scorer. He will wear opponents down and irritate them while doing it. He's scrappy, and he's not afraid to drop 'em if he has to. On top of that, he'll work harder than anyone else on the team. There's no doubt Cam will spend his season in Peoria, Illinois playing for the Blues' farm team, but should the chance come up that he does get the call, he will be completely deserving of it.

And that's a guy I'd take over the Bobby Ryans and the Kris Beechs of the world any day.

Good move by Peoria.



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