Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Blais, Thomas, Kyrou all make opening-night roster

Mikkola, Butler among surprises to make cut; Fabbri, Gunnarsson 
won't be ready by Thursday; Jaskin claimed by Capitals on waivers

ST. LOUIS -- The tough decisions have been made, some were easier to make because of injury/visa circumstances, but the Blues are down to their opening 23-man roster.

Sammy Blais
Among the no-surprise veterans that made the team, the ones everyone were looking out for will be in St. Louis when the Blues open the 2018-19 season Thursday at home against the Winnipeg Jets. They are forwards Sammy Blais, Jordan Kyrou and Robert Thomas and defenseman Jordan Schmaltz, and a couple surprises in defense, including veteran Chris Butler and Niko Mikkola, who had a very solid camp.

But a few of those decisions will be alleviated once injuries to defenseman Carl Gunnarsson (knee, hip) and forward Robby Fabbri (groin) are up to par; both of them are non-roster injured, along with forwards Erik Foley (concussion) and Nikita Soshnikov (concussion), goalie Luke Opilka (hip) and newly acquired defenseman Jakub Jerabek, who is awaiting clearance for a working visa in the U.S. to be put on the active roster. Jerabek was acquired from the Edmonton Oilers on Monday for a conditional 2020 sixth-round pick that can become a fifth if he plays in 50 games with the Blues this season.

Defenseman Joel Edmundson is questionable to open the season Thursday with a groin issue sustained last Friday in a preseason win against Dallas.

Also, forward Oskar Sundqvist, who was the recipient of a hard check by Washington's Tom Wilson in the preseason finale on Sunday, will begin the season on injured reserve, and defenseman Robert Bortuzzo won't play on opening night while he serves one more game for his three-game suspenson stemming from an elbowing incident against the Capitals on Oct. 25.

The Blues also lost forward Dmitrij Jaskin to the Capitals, who claimed the winger on waivers Tuesday, and Butler was recalled from San Antonio of the American Hockey League on Tuesday as insurance on the blue line, and goalie Ville Husso, forwards Chris Thorburn and Zach Sanford and defenseman Jake Walman were assigned San Antonio. Thorburn was put on waivers Monday but cleared.

Blais makes it this time out of camp after being solid in camp last season, only to be sent to the Rampage before playing in 11 NHL games. Both Kyrou and Thomas come straight from playing in the Ontario Hockey League. 

Keep in mind, the Blues still have the option of keeping Thomas for up to nine games played in the NHL before deciding if he remains with the club or is sent back for the season to the OHL; he cannot go to San Antonio.  

Here is the opening night 23-man roster:

Forwards: Ivan Barbashev, Sammy Blais, Tyler Bozak, Jordan Kyrou, Pat Maroon, Ryan O'Reilly, David Perron, Brayden Schenn, Jaden Schwartz, Alexander Steen, Vladimir Tarasenko, Robert Thomas

Defensemen: Robert Bortuzzo, Jay Bouwmeester, Chris Butler, Vince Dunn, Joel Edmundson, Niko Mikkola, Colton Parayko, Alex Pietrangelo, Jordan Schmaltz

Goalies: Jake Allen, Chad Johnson

No comments:

Post a Comment