St. Louis Blues Assign Dmitrij Jaskin to AHL Chicago


The St. Louis Blues reassigned forward Dmitrij Jaskin to the AHL Chicago Wolves on Thursday morning, which may be a sign that forward T.J. Oshie is close to returning. Oshie practiced for the third time this week on Thursday, and he stated after practice that he would feel comfortable returning to the lineup if he received medical clearance that his concussion symptoms are behind him.

The 21-year-old Jaskin, who has played in six games with one goal this year, has fallen down the forward depth chart recently and had been a healthy scratch for the past two games. For two reasons—Jaskin’s inexperience and the salary cap implications of having him in the NHL—it became advantageous to send him back to Chicago, where he started the season before being brought up to St. Louis in the third week of the season.

Considering the Blues’ organizational point of view that young players should be playing regularly, it makes the most sense for Jaskin, who has played in 74 career professional games between the AHL and NHL to get regular work in a top-nine role. That wasn’t going to happen in St. Louis for the immediate future, as Magnus Paajarvi and Chris Porter were getting opportunities instead of him.

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In addition, Jaskin’s presence had pushed the Blues up extremely tightly against the cap, and demoting him increases their available cap space from $456,977 to $1,229,477. Though the goal is to maintain a roster of 23 or fewer players for as long as possible in order to avoid the extra players being projected by the cap to be staying for the entire year, this transaction gives the Blues the financial flexibility to call someone up if necessary. When Jaskin was on the roster, they would not have been able to afford to do so, as their available cap space was less than the league’s minimum salary.

This is all a bit of a moot point, considering that the Blues have an extra defenseman in Jordan Leopold who hasn’t played in over two weeks, while their forward corps have been consistently ravaged by injuries to start the year. That means that Jaskin would likely be the next man up if the Blues needed to add another player. Regardless, being able to move him off the roster for at least a little while will improve their financial flexibility as the season goes on.