St. Louis Blues Center Paul Stastny Out at Least 5 Weeks with Broken Foot


St. Louis Blues center Paul Stastny, the team’s second highest-paid player, will miss at least five weeks after the lower-body injury he suffered last Friday against the Vancouver Canucks was revealed to be a broken foot. Stastny, who had a goal and four assists through the Blues’ first five games, has already missed two games since suffering the injury: a Sunday afternoon win over the the Winnipeg Jets, and a Tuesday evening loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

It’s a major blow to both the Blues and Stastny; the Blues had been hoping for Stastny, who they signed to a four-year, $28 million-dollar contract in 2014, to become more of an impact performer during his second year, following a 2014-15 season in which he had a career-worst full-season point total of 16 goals and 30 assists over 74 games.

From Stastny’s point of view, he had a chance to establish himself as a worthy member of the first line with Alexander Steen and Vladimir Tarasenko following a year where he was mainly relegated to the third line with Patrik Berglund and Dmitrij Jaskin. While Stastny did deliver a good performance during the brief time that he was on the ice with Steen and Tarasenko, it should be interesting to see if he can make his way back up to that line now that Tarasenko has been reunited with his longtime linemate, center Jori Lehtera.

With Stastny out of the lineup, the Blues have given veteran center Scott Gomez a more prominent role over the past couple games, and he figures to have a top-nine role for a while now. At the very minimum, Gomez will be in the lineup until rookie forward Robby Fabbri returns from a concussion, and he could stick longer if the Blues decide to insert Fabbri in place of a winger like Scottie Upshall or Dmitrij Jaskin, or if they decide to send the 19-year-old Fabbri back to juniors (though that seems unlikely now with Stastny out).

Depending on how close to Fabbri is to returning, it’s increasingly likely that the Blues could call up an extra forward now with Stastny out. Guys like Jordan Caron and Magnus Paajarvi who have NHL experience and have reached their AHL ceilings would seem to be the most likely options, as an extra forward would figure to spend a lot of time in the press box, though Ty Rattie has been the Chicago Wolves’ best player thus far and could be a candidate if the Blues are willing to open up playing time for him.

Next: Blues Denied by Carey Price in Loss to Habs

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