Blues fans were subjected to a cringe-worthy preseason as big names such as: Alexander Steen, Jay Bouwmeester, and Robbi Fabbri were all stricken with injury. On top of the fact that Patrick Berglund and Zach Sanford are already out for some time.
Though most will make a return this season, Fabbri is getting spit on by the hockey gods. Call it what you will, Fabbri has had a rough going in his young career. Promising as it has been, reinjuring his knee leaves much uncertainty about his future.
Not all is lost to the Blues however. St. Louis has had a plethora of prospects come through training camp, and many of them shined. When the time came to trim the roster one last time the Blues made some interesting decisions.
Rookies like Tage Thompson will get a chance to make their mark and impress the coaching staff enough to keep their spot. Scottie Upshall makes a return after signing a one-year deal and playing zero preseason games.
Upshall’s signing seems to have crushed the chances of Sam Blais from making the team. Blais played in seven of eight preseason games, and showed a lot of promise as a young forward. Opinions are mixed on this and while it would be nice to see Blais don #64 for the home opener, it’s not out of the question he won’t be called up at some point during the season.
Let’s not forget about Klim Kostin. This rookie showed great potential in the preseason, gloves on and off. Currently, he is out 7-10 days with a lower-body injury. Blues fans can certainly expect to see his face at some point during the season.
When Wade Megan made his first appearance for the Blues last season, he quickly won the hearts of many fans. Now he is back after a stellar training camp. #61 is sticking around for now, but does not appeared to be in the starting line-up for Thursday.
Barbashev impressed when he was called up last season. He still made the team this year, but head coach Mike Yeo does not believe he came with the same intensity he had last season.
Though not every move made during training camp went over smoothly for the higher ups, Blues management has been dealt a difficult hand. Jeremy Rutherford’s article for the Athletic states that the roster “leaves a lot to be desired,” and that is hard to disagree with.
Here’s what the lines are expected to look like according to Rutherford:
Extras: Barbashev, Megan, Prosser
When the season starts, it’s probably a safe bet that the Blues will juggle the pieces they have to find a better fit. This team may not look that different on paper, but there is a noticeable change. Partly brought on by the newcomers. They have fought hard for this spot and now they will have to fight to keep it. The Blues open against the Pittsburgh Penguins on October 4th.