Jaden Schwartz (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)
The St. Louis Blues have lost yet another player to injury, as Jaden Schwartz had to be helped off the ice after an apparent left leg injury. Schwartz, 23, had four points in seven games this season and joins Patrik Berglund, Paul Stastny, Robby Fabbri and Kevin Shattenkirk on the Blues’ injured list.
Hug a St. Louis Blues fan today. They might need it.
During Friday’s practice, Blues winger Jaden Schwartz went down with an apparent left leg injury and the initial reports don’t sound promising. Schwartz had to be helped off the ice and was sent to the hospital for evaluation following the injury. Already, the Blues have said he won’t be available to play in Saturday’s contest against the New York Islanders.
"You know what, we're not going to know until [Saturday] morning," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told NHL.com’s Louie Korac regarding Schwartz’s injury. "We’ll get a further update, but we sent him to the hospital just to get a further evaluation, then we'll give you an exact update on timeframe [Saturday]."
Hitchcock’s words were even more ominous when he spoke about the circumstances surrounding the injury. Schwartz was taking part in a warmup drill when he fell to the ice following a shot. Immediately, the 23-year-old appeared to be in pain. Hitchcock, who has spent nearly two decades as an NHL bench boss, said that in all of his years coaching he had never seen an injury like Schwartz’s.
"He shot the puck and then the puck bounced off," Blues goaltender Brian Elliott told the Blues' website. "He went to reach back for the rebound, kind of lost his edge and kind of came back into me and into the mesh of the net.”
This season was set to be a potential breakout year for Schwartz, who had already registered four assists in seven games to start the season. He was coming off of his second full season with the Blues and netted 28 goals and 63 points in 2014-15, both career bests. A first-round pick of St. Louis, 14th overall, in 2010, Schwartz had found a good fit on a line with Jori Lehtera and Troy Brouwer.
To fill the hole left by Schwartz’s absence, the Blues called up 22-year-old Ty Rattie. St. Louis’ second-round pick, 32nd overall, in 2011, Rattie has spent his past two seasons with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves. Heading into this season, Rattie had scored 52 goals and 90 points in 131 AHL games, but he has set the league on fire so far this season. Rattie has four goals and seven points in three outings with the Wolves in 2015-16.
The Blues have watched a number of players hit the shelf lately and Schwartz’s injury is the latest. To begin the season, Patrik Berglund was on the shelf with a shoulder injury and since the beginning of the season he has been joined on the injured list by rookie Robby Fabbri (concussion), defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (lower-body injury) and first-line center Paul Stastny (broken foot). Neither Shattenkirk nor Fabbri will be available for the Blues Saturday, but Hitchcock said both could return in time for Tuesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.