With their bye week wrapping up, the St. Louis Blues brought Magnus Paajarvi back from the AHL.
As their five-day bye week began on Tuesday, the St. Louis Blues sent forward Magnus Paajarvi to their AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves, to keep fresh during the break. With that bye week coming to an end as the Blues face the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday, they recalled Paajarvi from the AHL on Saturday night.
Since he was recalled from Chicago earlier this month and inserted into the lineup on February 7, the 25-year-old winger has been at his greatest level of productivity since his rookie season, when he collected 34 points in 80 games.
In seven games since his recall, Paajarvi has two goals and an assist with a plus-2 rating. Combining those stats with the numbers he posted before being sent down in October, Paajarvi has four points in 10 NHL games this season.
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Beyond the obvious attractiveness of keeping Paajarvi active during the break, the decision to send him down also helped the Blues in two areas. First of all, it froze his waiver clock. The Blues are allowed to send Paajarvi back and forth freely between the NHL and AHL until he’s spent 30 days or played 10 games with the Blues. He’s already played in seven NHL games since his recall, but after the temporary demotion he’s only used up 16 of his allotted 30 days. That’s not likely to be much of an issue, anyway. The 23-man roster limit goes away after Wednesday’s trade deadline, and Paajarvi doesn’t count much towards the salary cap, so there’s no real reason for the Blues to send him down again.
The demotion did allow the Blues to save a little bit of extra cash, though. Since Paajarvi’s salary is only $700,000 this year, he didn’t count toward the cap for any of the time he spent in the AHL. While the amount saved won’t be tremendous, it gives the Blues a little bit of extra cushion if they’re going to try to acquire a veteran at the trade deadline or if they need to recall more injury replacements.
Despite the fact that he missed the Blues’ Saturday afternoon practice, Paajarvi is likely to be in the Blues’ lineup when they take on the Blackhawks on Sunday evening at United Center.