As reported by Renaud Levoie of TVA Sports, the ultimate source on the NHL waiver wire, the St. Louis Blues have placed defenseman Chris Butler and forward Colin Fraser on waivers. If the two NHL veterans clear waivers, it’s likely that they will be assigned to the AHL Chicago Wolves shortly. The Blues went through a similar process this weekend with seven experienced minor-leaguers, all of whom cleared and were subsequently assigned to Chicago.
Butler, a St. Louis native who signed a two-way contract with the Blues this offseason, has spent six years in the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres and the Calgary Flames and played all 82 games with Calgary last year. He was seen as the guy who would be the next man up if any of the Blues’ top seven defensemen went down, but he was outplayed by a fellow NHL vet, Nate Prosser, this camp.
Another experienced vet, Ryan Whitney, remains in camp on a professional tryout contract. Though he is unlikely to make the 23-man roster, he could be signed to a contract and assigned to Chicago at the end of the preseason.
Yet another D-man who could be a factor is 21-year-old Petteri Lindbohm, a 2012 sixth-rounder from Finland who each day seems to have better odds to make the team. If Lindbohm doesn’t make the NHL roster, he’ll head back to Finland, which means that guys like Prosser and Butler could still be in the plans as injury replacements later in the season.
Fraser’s only real chance to make the team seemed to be if forward Jaden Schwartz didn’t re-sign with the Blues before the regular season started, so when that happened Saturday it was bad news for the former Stanley Cup Champion. It also didn’t help the 29-year-old Fraser’s case that 2014 first-rounder Robby Fabbri has been on fire this camp and now seems to have a legitimate shot at making the team. On Monday, the 18-year-old Fabbri practiced on a line with Jori Lehtera and Vladimir Tarasenko, two guys who are expected to be major contributors to the Blues’ offense this year.
The Blues’ roster now stands at 31 players, which includes Matt Climie, a goalie who is the property of the Chicago Wolves, as well as Whitney and Paul Bissonnette, both of whom are in camp on professional tryout contracts.