Losing Patrik Berglund (shoulder) for at least four months is a setback, but Blues coach Ken Hitchcock can see how this situation could have been worse.
“You never want to see a guy get hurt,” Hitchcoch said, “but it couldn’t come at a better time because it allows us to have preparation for finding his replacement. It gives us time to look at guys in training camp. We’ve brought in some NHL players to take a look at, bona fide NHL players, so we’ve got lots of time to see how it works.
“If this happens during the season or even during exhibition season, it’s a different story, but we’ve got a lot of time to figure it out and we’re going to get a good player back when we need him the most.”
Scott Gomez will be among those competing for a spot during training camp after inking a professional tryout contract on the same day that the Blues announced Berglund’s injury. This could also be seen as an opening for highly regarded prospect Robby Fabbri, although Hitchcock insists that whether or not he makes the team will be about how Fabbri does rather than the Blues’ situation.
Instead Berglund’s injury might be seen as creating more of an opening for some of the Blues’ more experienced prospects like Ty Rattie, who has spent the last two seasons playing primarily in the AHL.
The timing of Berglund’s injury also means that part of his recovery time will occur while no games of consequence are being played. The flip side to that is that after missing training camp and the early portion of the season, rust might be a factor.