When the St. Louis Blues kick off the 2015-16 season, one player who certainly won’t be in the lineup is center Patrik Berglund.
The Blues announced Thursday afternoon that Berglund, 27, will undergo surgery on his right shoulder following an injury suffered during training for the upcoming campaign. The injury, the Blues announced, stemmed from a shoulder dislocation Berglund had suffered during the 2013-14 season.
Making matters worse for the Blues, though, is that the recovery time for the surgery is lengthy: once the procedure is performed, Berglund will have to wait four months to be re-evaluated, meaning he could miss more than half the season. Read more
Scratch one big name from next summer’s list of top potential unrestricted free agents, as the Calgary Flames re-signed captain Mark Giordano on Tuesday to a six-year, 40.5-million extension. Still, a number of significant players remain eligible for UFA status next July.
There’s pressure on the St. Louis Blues to finally make a deep post-season run in 2015-16, but you wouldn’t know the team is feeling the heat by watching them take the ice for the first time at the Blues’ first informal skate of the season.
In the short clip posted to the team’s Twitter account, Alex Pietrangelo, Petteri Lindbohm, Robby Fabbri and the newest Blue, Troy Brouwer, all fly out onto the ice, skating straight-legged and trying to stay upright. But instead, for 14 seconds, the video is like watching four- and five-year-old children scramble around the ice. Read more
David Backes expected big changes in St. Louis this off-season.
In June, more than a month after the Blues’ season had ended, Backes, the club’s captain, didn’t mince words when talking about what he expected for the future of the team.
“I do expect change as far as we didn’t get a job done and there needs to be some change or else you’re buying into complete insanity, which is doing the same thing and expecting different results,” Backes told Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I do expect change to happen. On what scale and what realms, that (GM Doug Armstrong’s) baby and that’s what his position does.
“I do expect that the same 23-25 faces won’t be back. In a typical year, that means it’s four or five guys (leaving). If it’s that number or maybe a couple more, that wouldn’t be surprising to me. Who that would be is speculative at best in my book.”
Backes definitely wasn’t the only one expecting changes, especially after the Blues finished their fourth straight season in the top two of the Central Division and had a third consecutive flameout in the first round of the post-season. For several players to be moved would have made sense and certainly wouldn’t have been shocking. But with the off-season inching ever-closer to an end, have the Blues really done enough — or anything — to snap their puzzling post-season drought? Read more
In one off-season, the New Jersey Devils have said goodbye to Lou Lamoriello, Jacques Lemaire and longtime scout David Conte. This coming after a season in which they parted ways with all-time Devils great Martin Brodeur.
When it comes to Brodeur, who had a brief stint with the St. Louis Blues in 2014-15 before hanging up his skates and joining the Blues’ front office, things could have been much different for him post-career. In a recent interview, the 43-year-old sure-fire Hall of Famer said when he first retired, he had wanted to return to the New Jersey organization. Turns out Brodeur made the correct choice.
“[The Blues] offered me the (assistant GM) job, and I had to think about it a little bit,” Brodeur told NHL.com’s Arpon Basu. “I would have liked to go back to New Jersey, so it took some time for me to make my decision. But for me to go back there after everything that’s happened in New Jersey lately, I think I made the right move.” Read more
St. Louis Blues center Jori Lehtera battled through the post-season with an ankle injury, but should be healthy in time to suit up for the season opener.
Blues GM Doug Armstrong announced Monday that Lehtera, 27, underwent surgery on the injured ankle one week ago. The successful surgery will keep Lehtera away from the rink for 6-8 weeks, but that sets his timetable for return at least four days before the Blues’ first game of teh 2015-16 campaign on Oct. 8 against the Edmonton Oilers.
Lehtera was one of the most underrated players in the league this past season and was rewarded for his outstanding play after just one season in the league. Read more
The way Red Deer finished the 2014-15 campaign – a five-game, first-round loss to Medicine Hat – you’d be forgiven for wondering how they would turn things around in time to be tough hosts of the Memorial Cup this year. But in a flash of activity, GM and coach Brent Sutter has begun to shake the foundations.
Thanks to the (literally) tireless efforts of Conn Smythe winner Duncan Keith, the Chicago Blackhawks claimed their third Stanley Cup in six seasons, dusting off the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games.
Keith, who played an otherworldly average of 31 minutes per game in the post-season, scored the game-winning goal by following up his own rebound on Bolts goalie Ben Bishop. Patrick Kane, who always seems to come through in big contests, added the dagger on a beauty feed from Brad Richards.
In terms of sentiment, it was hard to beat captain Jonathan Toews passing the Cup off to Kimmo Timonen, whose career and life almost ended in the summer due to blood clots. Instead, the Finnish D-man ended his career a champion.