The Blues were dealt a major blow on Wednesday, as it was announced that Patrik Berglund will miss the first half of 2017-18.
The St. Louis Blues announced on Wednesday that center Patrik Berglund will be out until December after having surgery to a repair a dislocated left shoulder. Berglund was injured while going through an offseason conditioning workout in Sweden.
While he frequently receives hate from the Blues fan base, Berglund was actually one of the Blues’ top offensive contributors in 2016-17, scoring 23 goals–second only to Vladimir Tarasenko‘s 39–with 11 assists. He’s also one of the organization’s two longest-tenured players (along with Alex Pietrangelo) and is seventh in franchise history in games played with 637.
Berglund is a streaky player, no doubt; he had just one goal over the team’s first 30 games, then 22 over the last 52.
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He then was held scoreless (though he contributed four assists) over the Blues’ 11 postseason games. Nevertheless, the Blues will have to find another way to get offense and solid two-way play at the center position while he’s out. Ivan Barbashev and Zach Sanford would seem to be the top candidates to earn top-nine roles in his absence, though the Blues could test the trade and free agent markets as they look to temporarily replace him.
This will be the second time in the past three seasons that Berglund has missed the first half of the Blues’ season after having shoulder surgery. In 2015-16, Berglund missed the first 40 games of the season after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder, which had bothered him since the latter part of the 2013-14 season.
It’ll be interesting to see how Berglund holds up over the long term with two surgically-repaired shoulders, because the Blues made a major investment in him last season, signing him to a five-year, $19.25 million-dollar contract that begins this year. If worst comes to worst and this most recent surgery zaps some of his offensive ability, he should still be able to contribute as a fourth-line forward for years to come.