St. Louis Blues Forward Steve Ott Out Three Months with Hamstring Injury


The Blues lost yet another forward to a long-term injury with the news that Steve Ott will need hamstring surgery.

The St. Louis Blues just can’t seem to catch a break with injuries this season. They’ve already lost Robby Fabbri, Paul Stastny, and Kevin Shattenkirk for extended periods this year, and Jaden Schwartz (ankle) and Patrik Berglund (shoulder) aren’t expected to return until January. The team was dealt another blow on Sunday, as it was announced that forward Steve Ott will miss at least three months after sustaining a hamstring injury in Saturday night’s game. The severity of Ott’s injury correlates pretty closely with how nasty it looked; Ott was tipped over close to the Blues’ bench, remained down on his knees with his face to the ground for several moments, and was impassively pushed towards the bench doors by an official as he attempted to avoid stopping play. He needed lots of assistance to make his way from the bench to the dressing room following the conclusion of the first period.

In contrast to a player like Schwartz, Ott isn’t exactly irreplaceable. He’s a fourth-line energy guy who has no goals, two assists, and a minus-3 rating for the Blues over 21 games this season, and he has just three goals and 14 assists over his 122-game Blues career. With that said, at least he was a player who knew Ken Hitchcock’s system and could be deployed on a consistent basis.

More from Arch Authority

With Ott out, it will mean more action for everyone that’s become part of the Blues’ frequent rotation of forwards on the bottom two lines this year: Scottie Upshall, Scott Gomez, Dmitrij Jaskin, Magnus Paajarvi, and Ryan Reaves. In particular, Jaskin could become a prime candidate to fill Ott’s role on the fourth line due to his size and physicality, though he’ll bring more offensive skill to the table than Ott did. Reaves is also more likely to step back into frequent playing time because of the edge that he can bring to the checking line.

Ott’s placement will leave the Blues with 22 active players, one short of the NHL’s roster limit. Considering the amount of forward depth they already have, it’s entirely possible that the Blues could elect to operate one player short for a while, though if they do decide to dip into their minor-league depth, they could call on either Jeremy Welsh or Ty Rattie, both of whom have already had stints with the NHL club this season.

Next: Blues Recall Petteri Lindbohm from AHL Chicago, Send Down Joel Edmundson

It’s also worth noting that with Ott out until February, the Blues will be afforded more time to decide what to do with their glut of forwards. None of the team’s forwards are eligible to be sent back to the Chicago Wolves of the AHL without being passed through waivers (or, in the case of rookie Robby Fabbri, sent back to juniors for the rest of the season), so Ott’s injury now means they’ll only be forced to make one tough decision when Berglund and Schwartz return next month.