In what league were the Blues 'championship-caliber' the last few years? Not the NHL, not with the likes of Brent Johnson in net. They were never as good as Detroit, Colorado or Dallas in the last several years. The West was a bit stronger than the East over the last decade, we were the only Cup winner out of the East since '95 until Tampa in '04. They were a lot closer to being a championship team when they had Oates, Hull, CuJo etc, while Thachuk was in Phoenix.