St. Louis Blues Place Magnus Paajarvi on Waivers


With goalie Brian Elliott on track to return as soon as Tuesday against the Nashville Predators, the St. Louis Blues needed to clear a spot on the roster for him. That clearance wasn’t going to come from the goalie position, as general manager Doug Armstrong has expressed a desire to keep both Jake Allen and Martin Brodeur in the fold until the Blues are completely sure that Elliott is healthy.

The Blues could have exercised the “last in, first out” policy and sent forward Dmitrij Jaskin back to the AHL. That move would have been complicated by the fact that the 21-year-old has dressed in the Blues’ last four games and contributed a goal and two assists. In the end, the Blues decided to expose 23-year-old forward Magnus Paajarvi to waivers with the intention of sending him to the minors if he clears.

Paajarvi has been little more than a practice squad member this season, dressing in just 10 of the Blues’ first 35 games despite maintaining full health throughout the season. At times Paajarvi has even been scratched in favor of a seventh defenseman, and during both of Jaskin’s stints in St. Louis this year, Paajarvi has sat while Jaskin has played.

Throughout his time with the Blues, Paajarvi has been a victim of his lack of a defined skill set. While he has the size to be a fourth line contributor at 6-foot-3 and 208 pounds, he has not shown a ton of aggression when he’s been given those types of chances. He has potential as a top-nine player–he showed it in his rookie year with Edmonton, when he scored 15 goals and notched 19 assists over 80 games–but he’s never been able to consistently put it together with the Blues, scoring six goals with seven assists over 65 games with a Bluenote on his chest.

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It wouldn’t be the worst thing for the Blues if Paajarvi was claimed by another team, as he’s making $1.2 million this year. It’s difficult to imagine him ever becoming a regular in St. Louis considering that the Blues have young players like Jaskin, Ty Rattie, and Robby Fabbri on the horizon, and eliminating his salary would free up a little bit more cap room for the team to operate this season.

On the flip side, it would be a hassle for the Blues to pay him that much to play in the AHL. Their hope will have to be that by giving him his first consistent playing time in nearly two years, they can get him back in a groove and hopefully have him contribute to the NHL team later on in the season.

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