Did someone put a curse on the St. Louis Blues?
The word “curse” is probably used a bit too often in sports, but it might be an appropriate term to describe the St. Louis hockey franchise. The Blues have never hoisted the Stanley Cup in their 50+ year history, which might be enough of a reason to suggest the Blues are one of the most tormented franchises in all of sports. Now, they’re preparing to enter the 2017-18 season with an incredible amount of talent already sidelined with injuries.
Robby Fabbri, a 21-year-old winger who has star potential, will miss the entire 2017-18 season after re-injuring his left knee. Fabbri was trying to recover from the original injury to his knee which caused him to miss the remainder of the 2016-17 season. That’s a huge blow both to Fabbri and the Blues who were hoping they’d see the next evolution of Fabbri’s career that has already produced some memorable offensive highlights. Fabbri tallied 18 goals in his rookie campaign before scoring 11 goals in his shortened season last year.
There’s no telling whether Fabbri returned too early or whether he pushed himself too hard, too fast.
Missing Fabbri for the year is a painful pill to swallow on its own, but it’s worse considering he’s just one of many Blues skaters who are currently banged up.
Patrik Berglund is expected to be out until December as he recovers from surgery on his left shoulder. Jay Bouwmeester has a fractured left ankle and will soon be re-evaluated. Alexander Steen has an injured left hand and may have to start the season on the IR, barring a quick recovery. Zach Sanford will miss five to six months after injuring his left shoulder.
How bizarre is it that each player has an injury on the left side of their body? That’s one strange coincidence. Maybe the team can give out some extra left leg and shoulder padding to all of the Blues who are currently healthy.
Needless to say, the Blues have some pretty difficult questions to answer with so many players on the shelf. Some fans have clamored for Jaromir Jagr, but that wouldn’t really make sense when the team has some interesting young names waiting in the wings. Whether or not those young names (Vince Dunn, Tage Thompson, Klim Kostin, Jake Walman, Wade Megan and Samuel Blais) are ready for the NHL is a question the Blues will have to answer pretty quickly. Rushing a young prospect can have disastrous long-term effects, regardless of how severe an injury crisis may get on the NHL roster.
Prior to all of this injury talk, the Blues were slated to be one of the sneaky contenders in the Western Conference. After shifting the head coaching responsibilities to Mike Yeo in the middle of the 2016-17 season, the Blues took off and ended up with a respectable second-round finish. Theoretically, the Blues looked primed to build off of their previous campaign and use their blend of veteran and young talent to make some noise this season.
What happens when the Blues have to deal with the injuries that inevitably pop up during the wear and tear of a normal regular season?
For now, the Blues have to hope the worst of their injuries are already out of the way and that they can hold their head above water until some of their players can return.