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Bad News Blues: Bouwmeester’s season is done; Upshall to be re-evaluated in four weeks

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Jay Bouwmeester‘s injury-plagued season is officially over.

The St. Louis Blues announced Monday that the veteran defenseman would miss the rest of the season with a hip injury he picked up in a game on Saturday against the Dallas Stars. The Blues said that Bouwmeester will miss four-to-six months.

The veteran defenseman missed the first 21 games due to injury to start the season after sustaining a fractured ankle in training camp. He returned in late November and went on to play 35 games with the team, notching two goals and adding five assists.

Bouwmeester’s ailments this season had limited him to just one practice per week, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

It’s been a terrible season for the Blues as far as their infirmary goes. The aforementioned Bouwmeester began the season on the shelf, Robby Fabbri torn ACL rendered his season over before it began. Patrik Berglund missed nearly two months with a shoulder injury and Alex Steen missed six games after picking up a hand injury in preseason action. The team also lost Jaden Schwartz midseason with an ankle injury.

And then Saturday came.

The Blues, still fighting for a playoff spot despite trading away Paul Stastny at the trade deadline, lost both Boumeester and Scottie Upshall in their 3-2 overtime loss to the Stars.

Upshall, the Blues announced on Monday, is out for at least four weeks with an MCL sprain. He will be re-evaluated in a month.

The Blues sit two points behind the Los Angeles Kings for the final wildcard spot in the Western Conference. They play next on Thursday away against the San Jose Sharks.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

JayBo admits groin injury meant he ‘couldn’t do some of the things that I was used to doing’

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Jay Bouwmeester is hoping that the groin injury that cost him his “Ironman” streak won’t be a recurring thing.

Because not only did the injury, suffered in November, mean Bouwmeester’s streak of 737 straight games was over, it kind of messed up the rest of his season with the Blues.

“I’m a guy that relies on my skating, so yeah, that’s a big part of my game,” he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “It was a whole combination of things, but the bottom line is, I couldn’t do some of the things that I was used to doing. When you’re used to playing a certain way, things come naturally, and when you have to compensate a bit, it can throw some things off. It’s not a good position to be in.”

The 31-year-old defenseman finished with just 13 points in 72 games. He then went pointless in six playoff games, while averaging just 20:28 of ice time.

“So hopefully it’s nothing that keeps coming back,” he said. “I have no reason to think that I won’t be ready for camp or won’t be feeling good.”

Blues add depth on D, sign Benoit

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Defenseman Andre Benoit has agreed to a one-year, two-way contract with the St. Louis Blues.

From the press release:

Benoit, 31, dressed in 59 regular season games with the Buffalo Sabres last season, posting nine points (one goal, eight assists) and 20 penalty minutes.

Overall, the 5’11, 192-pound has appeared in four National Hockey League (NHL) seasons, including stints with Ottawa, Colorado and Buffalo.  He has amassed 48 points (11 goals, 37 assists) and 60 penalty minutes in 179 career regular season games, as well as four assists and six penalty minutes in 12 career postseason games.

The Blues already have six d-men on one-way contracts for next season: Alex Pietrangelo, Jay Bouwmeester, Kevin Shattenkirk, Carl Gunnarsson, Robert Bortuzzo, and Chris Butler. There’s also young Petteri Lindbohm, still on his entry-level deal.

Related: Blues inform Barret Jackman that he won’t be re-signed

Shattenkirk’s agent downplays trade rumors

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After another first-round playoff exit, many expected some sort of roster shake-up in St. Louis — and over the last week or so, rumors have swirled about a potential Kevin Shattenkirk trade.

On Wednesday, the Post-Dispatch tried to gauge the legitimacy of said rumors…

Now, the Blues have put Shattenkirk in the mix, at least gauging interest in what the All-Star could bring, according to league sources and media reports that have cited Edmonton, Columbus and Philadelphia as possible partners.

Blues general manager Doug Armstrong did not immediately return a message late Wednesday. Jordan Neumann, Shattenkirk’s agent, told the Post-Dispatch that he believed the reports are “not true.”

It’s easy to see why Shattenkirk would be in demand. At 26, he’s emerged as one of the NHL’s top young offensive defensemen — 44 points in just 56 games (abdomen injury) last year — and, in January, earned his first All-Star nod. He also carries a very reasonable $4.25M cap hit and is under contract through 2017.

Which begs the question — why would St. Louis move him?

Well, the Blues have Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester locked into sizable deals through 2019. That means the club might not have the money available to extend Shattenkirk, given he’d be in line for a sizable raise. What’s more, GM Doug Armstrong has some intriguing young d-man prospects in the pipeline — Joel Edmundson, Jordan Schmaltz, Petteri Lindbohm and Tommy Vanelli — that could push for a NHL gig by ’17.

And there is, of course, the shake-up theory. Moving Shattenkirk would be a bold move that reverberates throughout the room, something the club might consider given its recent playoff failures.

Blues inform Barret Jackman that he won’t be re-signed

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Barret Jackman has spent his entire 803 game NHL career with St. Louis, but he will have a new home next season. The Blues have told the 34-year-old defenseman that they will not re-sign him, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Jackman is coming off of a three-year, $9.5 million contract. He ranks second on the Blues’ all-time list in games played behind Bernie Federko (927 contests).

Despite his long tenure with the Blues, their decision not to retain him doesn’t come as much of a shock. Jackman logged an average of 20:40 minutes with St. Louis back in 2011-12, but his role with the team declined in each of the last three seasons to the point where he played just 16:48 minutes per game in 2014-15. He even ended up spending a couple games as a healthy scratch towards the end of the campaign.

St. Louis’ defensive core consists of Alex Pietrangelo, Jay Bouwmeester, and Kevin Shattenkirk and the trio comes with a combined annual cap hit of roughly $16.2 million, so adding Jackman on top of that might have hindered their flexibility in other areas. St. Louis currently has about $57 million in cap space committed to 16 players next season, per General Fanager, and that’s not including RFA Vladimir Tarasenko.