St. Louis Blues Forward Patrik Berglund Returns to Practice


The St. Louis Blues got Patrik Berglund back on the ice for Tuesday’s practice. Can he be the shot in the arm that they need?

As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s Tom Timmerman relayed from Tuesday’s morning skate prior to the Blues’ 7:00 PM CT meeting with the Winnipeg Jets, forward Patrik Berglund has rejoined the team for practice. While Berglund has been skating since the start of the regular season, it’s the first time that he’s participated in a team practice during the 2015-16 campaign.

Berglund underwent surgery in late August to repair a nagging shoulder injury that bugged him from late in the 2013-14 season up until the time of the operation. At the time, he was expected to miss at least four months. While there will surely be somewhat of a re-acclimation period since he hasn’t participated in organized hockey activities since last May, it seems that Berglund is a bit ahead of schedule in his recovery.

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While the 6-foot-3, 217-pound Berglund has been an object of disdain from Blues fans in recent seasons due to his lack of offense–Berglund has just 26 goals and 33 assists in his past 155 games after recording at least 20 goals in four of his first five NHL seasons–he may just be the shot in the arm that the Blues need right now.

First of all, Berglund will come back after ending last year’s postseason on somewhat of a hot streak; he had two goals and two assists in the Blues’ six-game first-round series loss to the Minnesota Wild. In addition, with a pretty reliable top-six forward group, Berglund can be better utilized on the third or fourth line.

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It should be interesting to see whether he’s used in a full-time capacity or if he’s used in a matchup-based rotation with guys like Ryan Reaves, Scottie Upshall, and Dmitrij Jaskin. Despite the Blues’ lack of offense in recent weeks, there’s not a forward who jumps out as a clear candidate to be displaced by Berglund.

With Steve Ott on the shelf long-term and Jaden Schwartz still several weeks away from returning to action, the Blues won’t need to subtract anyone from the roster to bring Berglund back, as they’re operating one forward short at the moment. Things will get more complicated after Schwartz returns, as the Blues will have to trade or try to pass one of their forwards through waivers with no one eligible to be safely reassigned to AHL Chicago.